Saturday, January 12, 2013

The public gets what the public wants



Personally I think the Jessops motto "Advice For Life" should have been replaced by one that said, "Hold on I'll get somebody who can help."  The staff were friendly enough but always woefully under trained and unfortunately, in specialist retailing, enthusiasm won't guarantee closure of the deal.

It's always bad news when a shop refuses to accept gift vouchers or returned goods and when that news was broken by Sky on Wednesday lunchtime, along with the added bonus that an application for administration had been filed on Wednesday morning at the High Court, the game was well and truly up.  It's also worth noting that last year the company lost two key executives, chairman David Adams and chief executive Trevor Moore - who joined HMV - boy do those two know how to pick a winner!

Jessops had something of a mixed reputation among photographers, for those with a little knowledge and in need of some face to face advice it was the photographic equivalent of PC World or Comet (ah, perhaps I can see a link here) but 'serious' photographers would usually end up going to their local independent or seeking out advice from the various specialist websites. One of the enduring criticisms of Jessops was its prices, always pitched above any of their competitors, until fairly recently which leads me to believe this wasn't one of those 'Oh shit, we're bust," surprise moments of financial clarity when somebody spots that an office junior hasn't entered the correct numbers on this months financial reports.

Shortly before Christmas I had been looking to purchase the same lens as the one I hired for last years Tour De France finale and found that there had been a general cutting of prices across the board (the yen/sterling exchange rate finally working in our favour) and nearly all retailers (including Jessops) were offering the lens at over £250 below list price, unfortunately neither of the branches within driving distance had one in stock and so I had to go online for  the purchase. Again one of the criticisms of Jessops was that like W.H Smith (my next tip for a biggie to 'go' - excluding HMV which is dead man walking) they were almost immovable when it came to requests for out of stock items.

7 comments:

Span Ows said...

Ah...should have read this first! :-)

Sad but not a surprise. More to come.

A Northern Bloke said...

There is/was a Jessops in Sunderland. I found the staff to be very helpful and on one occassion I had picked the brains of the assistant to the point where I felt guilty about leaving without buying anything. I bought an SD memory card but the damned thing was almost twice the price as the same one at Ryman's just round the corner.

Fortunately, the family run independent photography shop in Sunderland is still going. I bought my first camera there in 1976 and they're still in business.

Paul said...

Same with us Shy - the shop where I bought my first 'proper' camera back in 1982 is still there and has expanded into bigger premises.

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