/ Shopping, Technology

Life in the old dog yet: will you go back to HMV and Jessops?

HMV shop logo

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?


The company is run by a receiver. He is a lawyer. Lawyers just play by the rules – like chess players. They play to maximise their fee income. They have no feelings for the people involved, or sense of right or wrong except for their rules. Non-lawyers are just pawns. Lawyers are not selfless dedicated idealists trying to do what is right for society, they are gamers maximising their “points” (fees+VAT). This has gone on for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years. It will only change if somehow the money motive can be divorced from legal process. No one has invented such a system yet, despite comments by people such as Shakespeare and Dickens, and more recently Richard Dawkins.

Gerard Phelan says:
14 April 2013

I bought quite a lot of DVDs and CDs from HMV between 2004 and 2011. Most were from their on-line arm, but sometimes their stores undercut their own web prices. I stopped buying late 2011, when their formerly useful twice weekly emails multiplied into about 10 a week leading me to un-subscribe from their mailing list.
Sadly for HMV, my purchase decisions were mostly based on comparing prices with Amazon and a few others. Sometimes, HMV were the only stockists of certain titles. If they start selling on-line again, then I will be happy to buy from them if their prices at least match others prices, after all it is in MY interests to ensure there are viable competitors who will keep Amazon’s prices low.


Personally I liked HMV and Jessops. Although I do buy a lot of things online HMV was great for browsing if you want to buy a gift for someone, although their prices were very high. My local Jessops had knowledgeable staff and I find the opportunity to handle a camera essential so I would not buy one online. I got a nice DSLR with an extra bundled lens so it was no more expensive than buying online. If all these shops go then we’ll not have the chance to try before buying.

John Foxx says:
31 May 2013

HMV – can’t say I’m impressed with the re-floated version. They keep emailing me offers which are largely not great and their website seems sparse. I can really see no reason why they won’t go down the toilet a second time. The lessons haven’t been learnt.
HMV committed the unforgivable “crime” of trying to sell CDs at £16.99 when you could get them for under £9 online. Yes they have overheads, but £8 worth a CD!?!?
Jessops – decline – we no longer need to buy rolls of film for starters and get them “developed”. Adapt and survive. In the end, they were just a camera shop and you can buy cameras almost everywhere now and expert advice is available online. They all fail because they fto surf the wave of change so they wipe out…. Record companies, publishers, even Apple – bubbles burst – all tomorrow’s fossils.

Paula Louise Neale says:
7 June 2013

I will never ever buy from HMV again. They have treated their customers appallingly. They did finally honour the vouchers bought for my children as gifts but today they have really shown they are not worthy of trading.

Last September I bought my son a Arnova 10b G3 tablet from their Canterbury store. It has stopped working completely. Today, I went into the (very unhelpful) Canterbury store to see what my options are and if they would give me a refund. I did not have my receipt but I did have my bank statement which showed the date of purchase and on looking up Arnova sales on that day they confirmed that I purchased the tablet there. They tried to fob me off with a telephone number to the administrator, so I told the guy that as he was the manager he could call them for me. He did they gave him another number for me to call which was for Arnova. I called Arnova from the HMV store. They said to me they can not refund as I have not paid them directly for the product but that I could have brand new replacement as long as I have the receipt or obtained confirmation from HMV that the product was purchased there. HMV will not give me a screen print of my sale. So I am now £359.98 (£159.99 for the original tablet and £1.99 for a new one) out of pocket as I have has to go an buy my son a new tablet elsewhere and there is nothing I can do about it. I feel like I’ve been robbed.


This is the sort of situation where Google Glass would be very useful. If shop “assistants” knew that they were being filmed and could appear all over the Internet they may well behave more helpfully.

Paula Louise Neale says:
7 June 2013

I will check those out – Thanks 🙂