With previous casualties Jessops and HMV returning to the high street after being placed into administration, are you rushing back to them with open arms? Or are you practising caution?
Just two months after going into administration, camera chain Jessops has re-opened two of its stores in London and Birmingham with plans to reopen another 30-40 stores. Hot on its heels is HMV, which is to have 141 stores saved in a £50m deal from restructuring specialists, Hilco.
Peter Jones, the Dragons’ Den star who bought Jessops, referred to the camera chain as an ‘iconic British brand which can lead the retail resurgence on Britain’s high streets’. But are you quite as convinced this Dragon? Will you be buying from these previously bruised brands – or would you rather go online or to an alternative retailer?
Going back to HMV and Jessops
The retail industry has undoubtedly suffered in recent years, with many high street shops struggling to stay afloat in an online world, where your chosen item is often at its cheapest on the net.
Still, there’s no getting away from the fact that buying your camera online lacks the opportunity to speak to someone face-to-face about your potential purchase. Nor do you get the chance to handle it in store.
Peter Jones has also said that he aims for customers to get products for the same price in store as on the Jessops website. So perhaps customers will be keen to snap up cameras on the high street? I also wonder whether people will be more likely to shop in HMV and Jessops just for the simple fact that they want to support their favourite high street brands to make sure they don’t go under.
Your rights when companies go bust
Personally, I’m a bit cautious with any company that has gone into administration.
I find it hard to believe that the problems that faced these companies before, are going to be sufficiently minimised to make it worth re-opening them for trade. I’d worry I’d be burned if I bought from the company and retail lightning struck twice I’d be left out of pocket.
Normally, you have a right to return faulty items under the Sale of Goods Act. However, if you do buy from a company that’s gone into administration, your rights depend on the administrator. To save the store the administrators may decide not to accept returns, and it could refuse to accept gift vouchers. This was something HMV and Jessops customers initially suffered, but thankfully both stores are now back on the cards.
So, do you think it’s second-time lucky for these stores, or will you be giving them a wide berth – and if so, why?