UK camera chain Jessops shuts, shedding 1,370 jobs

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 11, 2013 19:45 hrs

Bankruptcy administrators for Jessops, the struggling British camera retail chain, said Friday the company is shutting down because it is no longer viable.

The demise of the chain, which opened its first shop in 1935, followed the recent closures of other British high street stores, including Comet, the consumer electronics chain.

Jessops will begin closing all 187 stores across Britain for the last time Friday, PricewaterhouseCoopers said. That will result in 1,370 job losses, and PwC said further jobs will likely be shed at the company's head office.

The announcement came just days after Jessops called in the administrators, saying it was in financial trouble after poor sales over Christmas. Administrator Rob Hunt said PwC held "extensive discussions" with suppliers but it was apparent that Jessops could not continue to trade.

The chain has struggled for years, as consumers switched to buying online and as the camera market stalled. It also was hit by weak consumer spending in Britain, which just emerged from a double-dip recession.

Jessops came close to collapse in 2009 but avoided administration in a deal with its main lender, HSBC.

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