So, I was sad to hear that national camera retailer Jessops is going into administration. And then a second feeling came over me… a small measure of culpability.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t say that I’m directly to blame. The rise and rise of the cameraphone has had a devastating knock-on effect for sales of digital cameras, and last time I checked, I didn’t design the cameraphone (I barely even use my own).
But one thing I resolutely haven’t done is bought a single thing at Jessops this side of the millennium.
Get your bargains online
The last time I bought a camera from Jessops, it took film. That’s how long it’s been since the store has had any kind of relevance to me.
I’ve purchased two digital cameras in my time, and in both cases I snapped them up online for a significant discount compared to what I’d get on the high street.
I’ve bought lenses for my DSLR, and again, I headed online for these. SD cards? I wouldn’t dream of paying the ludicrous prices you’d find for these on the high street when you can get them online at a fraction. And I suspect this sort of behaviour makes me rather a lot like many UK consumers and potential camera buyers.
The last reel for Jessops
Jessops’ days have been numbered for a while. It’s sad to say, but true. I’ve spoken to the world’s biggest camera manufacturers over the last couple of years and, mark my words, every one of them is shaking in their boots at the challenge of selling cameras to a market that’s largely happy to wave its smartphones around.
This is the same challenge that a specialist camera retailer would face, and that’s before you factor in the better deals that can be found online.
I’ll miss having a browse through the cameras inside a store at Jessops, and actually handling a product I’m considering buying. But any time an assistant came up to me and asked if they could help, the truth was, no – they really couldn’t. And I couldn’t help them either.
Jessops’ administrators have announced that at present the retailer is not in a position to honour customer vouchers or accept returned goods. If you are concerned about Jessops going into administration, perhaps you have a gift voucher or a broken camera, then you can find advice in our guide on what to do if a company goes bust.