12 July 2007

Struggling retailers

Jessops has been in the news a fair bit this last fortnight. It seems that they've really been hit by the on-line merchants and have announced that they are closing over 80 of their high street shops and making many staff redundant.

To some observers this might not have come as a major surprise given the several profit warnings that they've issued recently.

From a personal perspective, I've had a mixed experience with the company. They've always been useful to go and physically look and get the feel of photography products which you simply cannot do with an online firm. However, their pricing has been less than competitive at times! Sometimes they offer price matching and other times they don't. At the end of the day, if there is something you know you want to get but you can get it elsewhere for less, then in most cases you'd take that option. Looking at the prices they charge for memory cards, when you can get a 2gb Sandisc card for £17.99 including delivery from an online store but Jessops still insist on selling it for c£60, it's no surprise they're in trouble.

The worst experience I've had though was when they lost all of the films from my engagement trip to Iceland that were being processed. It seemed that the loss was down to sheer incompetence as I kept on getting told different stories. First the films were in the store, then they were still with the processors, then they'd been sent to another branch by mistake. They just didn't know what had happened. Unfortunately this really was the last straw as far as I was concerned. I soon went to owning a digital slr after that event!

Would I be sad to see them go from the high street? In some ways yes but in others, no. the jury is still out so we'll have to wait and see.

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