Tuesday, 01 September 2015

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Carlisle jobs threat as Jessops stores face closure

The future of 2,000 jobs at Jessops is now at risk, including those at its only Cumbrian store in Carlisle, after it went into administration.

The acting manager there, Sheila Otway, declined to comment on the news.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was appointed administrator yesterday.

Jessops, which dates from 1935, is Britain’s only specialist national camera retailer, with nearly 200 stores. Administrators said closures were inevitable.

It is the first high-profile retail collapse of 2013 and comes soon after the consumer-electricals chain Comet hit the wall, sparking more than 6,000 job losses.

Jessops, based in Leicester, has suffered in recent years from online competition and the boom in camera phones, which hit demand for digital cameras.

It underwent a major overhaul in 2007 when there was a swathe of store closures, including a second Carlisle branch in English Street.

And it came close to collapse two years later before being rescued by its main lender, HSBC.

The bank took a 50 per cent stake in the business in return for writing off £34m of loans.

Insolvency specialist Begbies Traynor predicted last month that up to 140 retailers were in a “critical condition” and at risk of collapse in the first quarter of 2013.

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