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Jobs at risk across Sussex as Jessops collapses
Dozens of jobs are at risk after camera shop chain Jessops went into administration yesterday (January 9).
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been appointed to the group, which is Britain’s only specialist nationwide camera retailer, with nearly 200 stores, including in Brighton, Eastbourne, Horsham, Crawley, Worthing, Hastings and Chichester.
It marks the first high-profile retail collapse of 2013 and comes soon after consumer electrical chain Comet hit the wall.
Jessops, which has its headquarters in Leicester, has suffered in recent years from online competition and the boom in camera phones, which has hit demand for digital cameras.
Administrator Rob Hunt said PwC was holding discussions with stakeholders to see if the business could be preserved.
He said: “Trading in the stores is hoped to continue today but is critically dependent on these ongoing discussions. However, in the current economic climate it is inevitable that there will be store closures.”
PwC said the company’s core market had seen a “significant decline” in 2012 and its position had “deteriorated” in the run-up to Christmas.
Forecasts for 2013 indicated the decline would continue.
PwC said extra funding was made available to the company, but Jessops did not generate the profits it had planned over Christmas.
Mr Hunt said discussions to raise additional financial support for the company had been held between the directors, lenders and suppliers over the last few days.
But the directors had appointed administrators in light of “irreconcilable differences”.
PwC said Jessops was not in a position to honour customer vouchers at present, and it would also not accept returned goods.
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