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Jessops have gone belly up!

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Showing 1-25 of 44 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Jan 2013, 17:04:31 GMT
Killed by the net I suppose?

Posted on 10 Jan 2013, 00:06:09 GMT
Last edited by the author on 17 Jan 2013, 11:41:18 GMT
Graham H says:
Not at all. Killed by being useless I would think is more likely.

After all, Ffordes and Grays sell only cameras, and they both have excellent reputations and international clientele. And that's not on price either, because they're not the cheapest out there.

Each time I've gone to Jessop's it's been a flippin' mission. Take the last new camera I bought - My Fujifilm X10.

Jessops had the best real-world price, so I phoned a few branches. The first two I called gave me one line anwsers. "No, no stock". That was it. Not "No stock at the minute I'm afraid, but we should have a few next week. Would you like me to call you when they're in?"

The third one I called: "We're showing one on the system..."
"Great. I'll have it. See you in an hour"
"...But it's got a broken screen"
Well, what flippin' use is that??? You may as well have just said No!
"Can you get me one?"
(In a manner as though I'd just asked them to find me the Ark of the covenant): "Well, we'll have to order it in from our supplier if you want a new one"
Not "We CAN order you one" you'll notice, but "We'll HAVE TO order you one" As though I, a mere customer, am getting in the way of their busy lives.

Of course I want a new one! What, you think I'm going to pay top whack for a busted one? Clowns.

So, despite trying my damnedest to buy from them in store, I wound up doing what I always do and buying it off the 'net and waiting a couple of days.

This is what's killing retailers. It's not so much the price, it's the "If it ain't on the shelf we ain't got it mate" mentality of the people who work in their stores.
Mate of mine runs a vintage and retro clothing store. She's busy as anything because she has a passion for what she does. She updates her Facebook page each time something new arrives, and she gets to know her customers to ensure that a single walk-in off the street becomes a regular. She's doing well.

This is what Grays Of Westminster do. They have passion, commitment and a good attitude which breeds loyalty and repeat business. I will happily pay a few quid over the best internet prices for kit from there because they're a joy to deal with, they deserve support and I know that if anything goes wrong they'll do their best to sort it out for me as they've always done in the past.

"Killed by natural selection and staff indifference" is my verdict as regards Jessops.

More retailers will be killed off, it's inevitable. People have the ability to buy online and have it turn up at their door the next day. If retailers want to survive then they need to make the experience of a customer walking into the store a pleasant one. John Lewis manage this fine, and have done for decades. So why couldn't Jessops?

PS: And before anyone chimes in with "You don't know what it's like to have to work in a shop and deal with idiots off the street" - Yes, I do. I worked in retail for ten years.

Posted on 10 Jan 2013, 00:18:50 GMT
Bill says:
I found Jessops OK. Have bought 2 Cameras and binoculars there. Good service, good offers.
I hope they are rescued.

Posted on 10 Jan 2013, 00:23:03 GMT
Last edited by the author on 10 Jan 2013, 00:23:28 GMT
Graham H says:
I hope the guys who served you, who are obviously keen and helpful, find new jobs with a retailer who will appreciate and reward their talent and commitment.
I'm sure there are good ones, but my experience of them has been overwhelmingly poor I'm afraid. The X10 was just the latest in a long line of episodes going back to when I first bought a digital camera back in about 2002.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013, 01:26:57 GMT
Our local store in Merry Hill has a great manageress. She knows her stuff and is very helpful. I hope she gets a new job - she should.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013, 10:05:53 GMT
If I shop locally I shall have to go to Curry's armed with ear defenders! You only have to touch a display camera and the alarm goes off. I had 4 on the go the other day as I waited for my wife to get something.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013, 22:08:07 GMT
jakes says:
I totally agree. I went in for a new Canon 430 flashgun. The assistant couldn't even answer basic questions on its use.
He asked the Conon rep. to come over and even HE could't make it work with my EOS40D

Went across the road to Currys and got one.

Posted on 10 Jan 2013, 22:21:30 GMT
Graham H says:
Crikey! Out of the frying pan and into the fire, eh? ;-)

Posted on 10 Jan 2013, 23:24:28 GMT
RickieF says:
It's a shame to see another high street stalwart go down, but over the past several years I've not been too impressed with any of the Jessops I've had occasion to wander into, it's been obvious the lack of staff with a care for what they sell, and more for what they're meant to be doing.
G. E. Hearn's sentiments ring a bell - it's a hard task to do their job on occasion, but I'm guessing the HR departments go for anyone who can look presentable on the shop floor at minimum wage (the curse of actual real job staffing, pay bananas get monkeys) approach, and stuff if they know what the products they're selling are or how to make customers feel valued.
I do feel sorry for those that do care and do have a real interest and knowledge, as without them it's back to shops that will sell you a fridge with that tripod!

Posted on 11 Jan 2013, 16:57:02 GMT
RJB says:
Personally, I've always found staff in Jessops reasonably knowledgeable. Recently however, I went into a branch of Jessops and was amazed- firstly at the number of staff in there, but also by their unprofessionalism. A lot of the background noise I initially thought was other customers was actually members of staff, stood around laughing and talking loudly (basically shouting) amongst themselves, and then across the store at their colleagues! I was just browsing, but at no point was I asked if I needed any help.

Couldnt help but think of that store when I heard the news yesterday.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jan 2013, 19:54:12 GMT
ollie says:
Then you Might have some simpathy for 1300 people who have lost their jobs

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jan 2013, 20:08:01 GMT
Based on my sons' experiences I imagine that a fair few of the employees will be part timers/students. If you go to a shopping centre late or on a Sunday there will be more students and fewer permanent (i.e more knowledgeable) staff.

Posted on 11 Jan 2013, 21:45:59 GMT
Vanessa 21 says:
Jessops helped ruin the independent photographic retail trade in Wolverhampton, where they deliberately undercut four specialist dealerships and forced them out of business. The shop workers don't deserve unemployment, but the company deserves to fail in repayment for what they did to Wolverhampton shops - Warners, Cine Equipments, Photo Mecca and the Shrewsbury Camera Exchange. Anyw!ay, times change, and things move on - thank goodness! At least people won't be duped any more by the difference in price of photo equippment if you pre-order on line and collect, or if you just walk in off the street to buy! An independent photographic dealer told me recently that he could buy Nikon D800's cheaper in Jessops than he could be supplied with them by Nikon UK. Work that one out!

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jan 2013, 21:49:50 GMT
I live just down the road from you in K'ford.

Posted on 11 Jan 2013, 22:07:29 GMT
T. Read says:
And so here I am on Amazon looking for a camera I saw in Jessops last week, comparing the prices. Of course buying from Amazon was the better thing to do from a customer viewpoint, saving myself a whole nine pounds fifty compared to Jessops. But now what? Another charity shop helping the plight of underfed meerkats and the like? Who really wins?

Posted on 12 Jan 2013, 11:45:57 GMT
P. Watling says:
I found the staff at Jessops in Taunton always helpful and knowledgeable. When I had a problem with back focusing with my Nikon D7000, I produced a photo with the evidence, they exchanged it with absolutely no quibble right away! I feel so sorry for them especially Slyvie the manager and Martin, the assistant manager who had been there for years! When ever I bought a camera from them, I always checked the price of accessories that I needed with other companies and they always price matched, their accessory prices were always sky high and I wouldn't have bought if they hadn't. In latter years they would only price match the accessories as long as you bought the camera with them, whereas in previous years, the early years of internet shopping they did price match cameras as well.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2013, 16:32:32 GMT
RJB says:
Of course. Just sharing my own experiences of Jessops stores.

Posted on 12 Jan 2013, 17:08:16 GMT
I found the quality of their staff got worse over time - where I am there is still an independent the enthusiasm and customer service is so much better. Stores in electrical/computer/photographic have to offer something really excellent to survive I think and many of them have Appalling customer service - PC World!!

Posted on 13 Jan 2013, 10:48:20 GMT
Well its a combination of problems. I was a BT spokeman about all things to do with the internet from 1997 till 2002. We werepredicting all sorts of revolutions in the press media, the high street and generally how the new technologies would change our lives. I've had the impression we might as well have been King Canute trying to divert the ocean. Most businesses went off half cocked with all sorts of crazy investments in online activity, matched with another business community that just put their head deeper into the sand. Most of the High Street was like that - despite online competition, nothing much has changed in shops - lots of poorly informed staff, not very bonused to work with customers, and shops still largely operating as a sort of warehouse. If the experience isn't much different to being online, online will win every time.

Posted on 14 Jan 2013, 10:45:54 GMT
Jessops were good then crap, then really crap, now dead thank goodness.

Posted on 15 Jan 2013, 14:06:48 GMT
Last edited by the author on 15 Jan 2013, 17:43:59 GMT
Graham H says:
The only way that any retailer will survive in the future will be my making the experience of the visiting shopper into an event. You can't compete with the internet on price alone, as online sellers have no overheads. You need to sell on service. In other countries, such as Germany (where I spend quite a bit of time) a job in retail is not regarded as some sort of 'filler' to be endured because you can't find anything better. It's a job where the staff know that the main aspect of the role is to advise, help and carry out an efficient transaction.
Too many retail employees over here see their role as simply fetching stuff from the stock room and running it through the tills with the minimum of human interaction.
And who can blame them, when their employers just regard them as an expense rather than an asset?

Of the few things I still make a point of buying at retail, I do so because I enjoy the experience of the shopping process, and that's solely down to the store and the staff. I no longer tolerate dealing with people who aren't interested, simply because the advent of the internet means that I don't have to.

The High Street isn't dead, not yet. But it will need a whole change of mentality for it to survive. Too many chief execs make the mistake of thinking that all there is to retail is price. To that end, they cut their overheads to the bone and one of the ways they do that is to employ people on the lowest wage that they can get away with, which means employees won't ever see it as a career and so they won't be motivated.
The most successful retailers choose their staff carefully, pay their staff well and reward them with good incentives. Look at John Lewis, where their staff are partners in the business, and look at Timpson. They treat their employees very well. I've visited many, many Timpson's stores over the years and never had a bad experience at any one of them.

I predict that there will be many more closures over the coming years. Were it not for the fact that there really are very few other high street stores selling computers, I think PC World would have gone long ago.
But those closures mean that there will be new market openings for companies prepared to do it properly.

Posted on 15 Jan 2013, 21:18:36 GMT
Alex MacPhee says:
I think G.E.H. has it just about right. My experience with Jessops over the last ten years or so has in general been progressively poorer, though it was also patchy. The manageress in my local branch (Woking in Surrey) was good - knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly. Not all the staff were as clued up. I remember trying to buy a 120 roll of FP4, and what an experience that proved. I had to direct the chap behind the counter to where the films shelves were, like I was playing The Golden Shot (remember that?). It went like this : Left a bit, up, over left again, no, that's 35 mm, along a bit, no, that's colour (Superia!), FP4 is black and white, ... (Really, that's how it went, I've not elaborated anything for effect.)

I became irritated sufficiently often in various branches to walk out muttering under my breath about hoping they went under, for sucking up all those little independents, but in truth, there's nothing to gloat about. Staff have lost their jobs, and some of them were good at what they did. Why they've gone under may be for more commercially astute minds than mine to work out, whether it was large-scale shifts in the make-up of the consumers' photo-practice, or too rapid expansion, or the transition to bitstream photography, or abandoning the used photo market and turning into the photographic equivalent of a white goods shop, or being a shop-front where buyers could handle the goods they then ordered on Amazon, I don't know. The other concerns mentioned, like ffordes and Gray's, do a solid trade in second-hand goods.

All the same, I hope a rescue package of some kind, surgically ruthless though it may need to be, can be worked out. I don't think anybody wins from another casualty in the world of photography.

Posted on 16 Jan 2013, 03:13:45 GMT
m richardson says:
Haha i think im to young to know what the Golden Shot is but i had similar experiences in my local Jessops with staff not knowing what types of film they had for sale or being able to find them without help.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2013, 10:58:46 GMT
This is why I get all my film from Ag Photographic. Its fresh from the fridge and a good price too. I also use 7 day shop for Ektar.

Posted on 16 Jan 2013, 12:21:37 GMT
Seems like the Chief Exec, Tevor Moore, didn't have much faith in their future when he left in July 2012. He found a new ship to captain at HMV. Blimey, that's got to go down as an all time classic career decision!
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