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Jessops administrators to make more than 1,300 redundancies

PwC administrators have announced the closure of the camera retail chain

14 Jan 2013 Accountancy Age

By Rachael Singh

jessops

PWC ADMINISTRATORS have announced they are unable to continue trading the collapsed camera retailer Jessops and will close all stores.

Edward Williams, Rob Hunt and Matthew Hammond, partners at PwC, were appointed joint administrators on 9 January.

The administrators will close all 187 stores in the portfolio, which will lead to more than 1,300 redundancies.

Discussions between directors, funders and key suppliers such as Nikon and Canon broke down due to "irreconcilable differences" prior to the administrators' appointment.

Hunt said: "Since my appointment, we have reviewed the position of the business and held extensive discussions with suppliers around their support for ongoing trading.

"It is apparent that we cannot continue to trade and as a result we have had to make the difficult decision to begin the closure of all 187 Jessops stores at the close of business today.

"Regrettably, this will result in around 1370 job losses across the stores with further job losses likely, in due course, at the head office in Leicester.

"This is an extremely sad day for Jessops and its employees. We are very grateful for the support we have received since our appointment and we will continue to ensure that employees are paid as they assist us during the closure."

In key cities, the latest announcement will lead to double-digit redundancies in each store. Birmingham will see 36 staff let go, London's Oxford Street 25, and Leicester 22.

In 2009, the business, which has seen a deteriorating customer base for several consecutive years, managed to negotiate a debt for equity swap with HSBC which took a 47% stake in return for dropping £34m of debt.

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