Jessops going under (again)

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2,084
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Brian
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Yes agree with you there about HDEW they are excellent
I did used to have a good local Jessops and bought my gear there but when they closed I discovered HDEW and have bought everything from them since
I've used HDEW in the past, but they seem to have an ever decreasing choice of product these days.
They are currently only offering Canon, Olympus and Sigma cameras on their site.
At least Panamoz have Nikon, Sony, Fuji and Panasonic for those that prefer those brands.
 
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I've used HDEW in the past, but they seem to have an ever decreasing choice of product these days.
They are currently only offering Canon, Olympus and Sigma cameras on their site.
At least Panamoz have Nikon, Sony, Fuji and Panasonic for those that prefer those brands.
.... I think that HDEW used to offer Nikon but I shoot Canon and am probably about to switch to Olympus and so I'm lucky I can continue with HDEW (and WEX) as my regular suppliers. I haven't price checked but I think that Panamoz are a little cheaper than HDEW, but for me price isn't everything.
 
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Maybe their society has far less of the never want to work chavvy mob who love the cheap shops selling crap...
There's no doubt that there are a lot of people who don't want to work but it's still true that not enough money is going into run down areas and business overheads are simply too high for many businesses to survive.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the bargain shops, we use them a lot. You do still have to watch the prices and not get carried away as something which is £1 in a Pound shop can be 70p in B&M etc.
 
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Hard, too, for the high street to compete against grey market importers who don't have that annoying obligation to charge you the legally required tax.
 
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Steve
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I have found Harrogate store extremely helpful and provide excellent advice. Shame it may disappear from high streets.
 
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Alan
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Hard, too, for the high street to compete against grey market importers who don't have that annoying obligation to charge you the legally required tax.
It's not just the tax though, it's business rates, rent, utilities, employments costs and all the rest that make doing business in the UK so expensive.

I can see why people buy grey, I've done it myself, but every lost sale and every little disadvantage adds up and in some areas we're on the verge of losing most of the big names from the town centres. Just about every high street name seems under threat and on the verge at the mo.
 
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Terry
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Called in Thursday to the Birmingham branch to possibly trade in my Pentax gear for a new Pana body, just wanted a price at the time.
"Oh our system's changed, if the kit isn't on our trade in list it's not accepted."

"OK show me the list"

"Ah, erm, you have to set up an account as if you're committed to trading in before I can tell you if we'll take the kit"

"I'll go to MPB thanks, they can tell me instantly."


What a time wasting system.
 
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It's not just the tax though, it's business rates, rent, utilities, employments costs and all the rest that make doing business in the UK so expensive.

I can see why people buy grey, I've done it myself, but every lost sale and every little disadvantage adds up and in some areas we're on the verge of losing most of the big names from the town centres. Just about every high street name seems under threat and on the verge at the mo.
Also, in some cases, serious price gouging by the importer/local subsidiary. The price difference on the 5Dmk4 mentioned above isn't nearly explained by tax (though for a lot of lower end gear, the saving is suspiciously close to 20% VAT).
 

Studio488commercial

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Also, in some cases, serious price gouging by the importer/local subsidiary. The price difference on the 5Dmk4 mentioned above isn't nearly explained by tax (though for a lot of lower end gear, the saving is suspiciously close to 20% VAT).
prices are set on country basis for economic reasons, if the average wage in A: is 30K and the average wage in B: is 10K you have to have tiered pricing or one of them is getting it cheap or very expensive.
 
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6,784
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Terry
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One can not blame anyone for taking advantage of the way retail sales work in this country.
It is certainly not a level playing field, and has not been so since retail price maintenance was abolished WAY BACK IN 1964.
In those days Box shifters (like Dixons at the time) were a plague on normal retailers. they went for no frills low profit high volume. and forced the small family photography shop out of business. They did this by selling cameras at a lower price than a small retailer could buy from a wholesaler.

Those retailers that survived took a hard knock when Vat was introduced in place of purchase tax. this was a one off event, but stretched a small businesses cash flow to the limit. And many more soon succumbed.

Web sales have finished of all but the most highly efficient and well focused businesses that have excellent customer service and respect.

There is little evidence that grey imports are either illegal, or that they make much of an impact on high street sales... but they can hardly help.

Until the government comes up with a way to level the playing field, the bulk of retail sales will steadily move in favour of the Web.
May be that is to be the future, what ever we or the government might decide to do.
It would be interesting to know if this is the situation in all countries.

I think it is a mistake for any high street company not to deal in second hand quality items, as it encourages trading up. and expands footfall.
As it, is many users sell on Ebay and buy online. Ebay certainly establish the normal selling and buying prices for second hand goods.
However Ebay rarely offers the lowest price for new goods.
 
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.... I think that HDEW used to offer Nikon but I shoot Canon and am probably about to switch to Olympus and so I'm lucky I can continue with HDEW (and WEX) as my regular suppliers. I haven't price checked but I think that Panamoz are a little cheaper than HDEW, but for me price isn't everything.
I too am a Canon user who has also dabbled with Olympus.
I bought my 5D Mk4 from Panamoz and saved over £1000.
I find that E-Infinity are by far the cheapest for Oly stuff, which I think is grossly overpriced.
For me price is everything.
 
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I too am a Canon user who has also dabbled with Olympus.
I bought my 5D Mk4 from Panamoz and saved over £1000.

I find that E-Infinity are by far the cheapest for Oly stuff, which I think is grossly overpriced.
For me price is everything.
.... Looking at E-Infinity there's nothing which attracts me personally - They're just another Hong Kong based impersonal online seller. Their slightly cheaper prices aren't worth the lack of personal customer service. I have built long term close relationships with all my suppliers and consequently often gain extra benefits.

I think that Sony are overpriced rather than Olympus but it's all relative and depends what you are specifically buying.
 
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.... Looking at E-Infinity there's nothing which attracts me personally - They're just another Hong Kong based impersonal online seller. Their slightly cheaper prices aren't worth the lack of personal customer service. I have built long term close relationships with all my suppliers and consequently often gain extra benefits.

I think that Sony are overpriced rather than Olympus but it's all relative and depends what you are specifically buying.
Yup. We get this snap reaction to pricing all over the net and we've had a lot of it aimed at Sony and Oly have brought out some expensive kit too but there are two things that often inject a little more balanced reality. Firstly comparing the kit to what the competitors are marketing is important as kit can look expensive in isolation. Often for example Sony kit is criticised for being expensive when it's cheaper and has a better spec / performance than the Canikon alternatives. Secondly we shouldn't compare kit on superficial like for like basis as for example one marques 50mm may be a cheap and cheerful entry level lens whist another marques 50mm is top end lens with few peers. The Olympus f1.2 and other pro level lenses are an example of this, they're not mass market lenses built to a price they're top end kit. At least with MFT there's the option of going Panasonic or Olympus depending upon the spec and price you want.
 
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7,125
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Yup. We get this snap reaction to pricing all over the net and we've had a lot of it aimed at Sony and Oly have brought out some expensive kit too but there are two things that often inject a little more balanced reality. Firstly comparing the kit to what the competitors are marketing is important as kit can look expensive in isolation. Often for example Sony kit is criticised for being expensive when it's cheaper and has a better spec / performance than the Canikon alternatives. Secondly we shouldn't compare kit on superficial like for like basis as for example one marques 50mm may be a cheap and cheerful entry level lens whist another marques 50mm is top end lens with few peers. The Olympus f1.2 and other pro level lenses are an example of this, they're not mass market lenses built to a price they're top end kit. At least with MFT there's the option of going Panasonic or Olympus depending upon the spec and price you want.
.... I agree :agree:

Plus if you manage to afford it and it makes you happy shooting with it, that's all that really matters.
 
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2,084
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Brian
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Yup. We get this snap reaction to pricing all over the net and we've had a lot of it aimed at Sony and Oly have brought out some expensive kit too but there are two things that often inject a little more balanced reality. Firstly comparing the kit to what the competitors are marketing is important as kit can look expensive in isolation. Often for example Sony kit is criticised for being expensive when it's cheaper and has a better spec / performance than the Canikon alternatives. Secondly we shouldn't compare kit on superficial like for like basis as for example one marques 50mm may be a cheap and cheerful entry level lens whist another marques 50mm is top end lens with few peers. The Olympus f1.2 and other pro level lenses are an example of this, they're not mass market lenses built to a price they're top end kit. At least with MFT there's the option of going Panasonic or Olympus depending upon the spec and price you want.
The problem is quite a few Lumix lenses exhibit extremely bad CA when used on Olympus bodies, so they are not always an option.
 
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7,125
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The problem is quite a few Lumix lenses exhibit extremely bad CA when used on Olympus bodies, so they are not always an option.
.... Yet another reason why I never mix brands of lenses with camera bodies - There is nearly always a compromise regardless of how good the glass is or the cost difference either way. With the increasing reliance on electronic communication between lenses and bodies there are bound to be potential issues or shortfalls when they have been independently designed and developed.

When a camera manufacturer releases a firmware to better accommodate and exploit the features of one of its own lenses, that firmware updates the onboard body 'computer' (control and processing centre). So theoretically Olympus could update firmware to solve a Lumix lens issue when mounted, but how likely is that going to be done?

An alternative solution would be for a camera manufacturer to update its free software editor so an issue could be fixed there but such free editors are never the best RAW converters nor the most fully featured editors. I had the new Canon EOS RF 24-240mm recently to try out for as many days as I wanted but I quickly sent it back within a week when I discovered harsh corner vignetting at 24-30mm. This is common given the optical demands of a wide superzoom and Canon told me I could correct it in their free DPP. Hell! No thankyou very much! Sorry but I don't like DPP and it adds to my workflow.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
 
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13,303
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Rich
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This CA problem occus on pre 2013 Olympus bodies, correction is now applied.
I have mixed and matched without any issues, dual is doesn't work mixing brands though
 
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Bazza
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It is a dog eat dog world out there. For more years than I can remember photographic high street shops squeezed the maximum profit from customers and still doing it. You can see it here " https://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/ ".so easy to spot those doing this.
Well now at last the customer is fighting back by buying on line grey imports, and the high street shops don't like it. Well it is a taste of what we have been having from them.
Which is better money in your pocket or a companies pocket?????. I have no sympathy for them only for the staff loosing their jobs
 
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7,125
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Robin
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This CA problem occus on pre 2013 Olympus bodies, correction is now applied.

I have mixed and matched without any issues, dual is doesn't work mixing brands though
.... There you go, dual doesn't work mixing brands and so there is always either a compromise or the risk of one. It's up to the individual what compromises they are comfortable with.

Sorry, I think I am a bit off topic :exit:
 
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prices are set on country basis for economic reasons, if the average wage in A: is 30K and the average wage in B: is 10K you have to have tiered pricing or one of them is getting it cheap or very expensive.
And yet the US gets cheaper prices (before tax) on some (especially high end) gear than the UK, despite having a higher per capita income. I think they are charging 'what the market will bear' (i.e., what they can get away with), rather than simply hiking the price in higher income countries.

There is little evidence that grey imports are either illegal, or that they make much of an impact on high street sales... but they can hardly help.
There's nothing wrong with grey market in principle, of course (large legitimate US dealers like B&H sell some grey market gear alongside official imports). If the camera companies are taking advantage ot globalisation to outsource their production to the cheapest country, consumers should be able to get their gear from whichever market has the best prices. It's just that the way the grey market tends to operate in the UK (stuff gets imported with neither the dealer nor the purchaser paying the required tax) makes it effectively 'black market'. You no longer need a rowing boat and a dark lantern to rendezvous with a stealthy ship in some remote Cornish cove to be a smuggler, you can just order on ebay.
 
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2,084
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Brian
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And yet the US gets cheaper prices (before tax) on some (especially high end) gear than the UK, despite having a higher per capita income. I think they are charging 'what the market will bear' (i.e., what they can get away with), rather than simply hiking the price in higher income countries.
Don't forget turnover volume. The US is a much larger market than the UK and some of the price difference may lie there.
On the other hand, manufacturers have admitted in the past to charging what the market will bear, and it seems most people in the UK are willing to pay a premium for their photographic equipment (amongst many other things) which leads to the 1 to 1 dollar/pound exchange rate.
 

smr

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1,383
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Joel
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I started photography 5 years ago and have only once been to a photographic store - Wex, this Summer, and that was only to buy an adapter which I dropped on my way to Norfolk on Holiday.

All of my gear, DSLR, Scopes, Lenses, accessories etc. have been bought online because I don't have to spend any effort going out to get them, no parking fees, no petrol spent, no effort.

I can also get cashback with cashback websites.

Returns are much easier I can just hop onto live chat and get return labels emailed etc (if returns are needed)

Items delivered to me with a time window.

It's satisfying shopping around on the Internet finding the cheapest price, in a shop it's much less easier to do so.

The only thing I go out and shop for is food (sometimes) and clothes (sometimes but it's easier finding correct fit in shop), I'm surprised any other store on the high street still exists when you consider the above.
 

Studio488commercial

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I started photography 5 years ago and have only once been to a photographic store - Wex, this Summer, and that was only to buy an adapter which I dropped on my way to Norfolk on Holiday.

All of my gear, DSLR, Scopes, Lenses, accessories etc. have been bought online because I don't have to spend any effort going out to get them, no parking fees, no petrol spent, no effort.

I can also get cashback with cashback websites.

Returns are much easier I can just hop onto live chat and get return labels emailed etc (if returns are needed)

Items delivered to me with a time window.

It's satisfying shopping around on the Internet finding the cheapest price, in a shop it's much less easier to do so.

The only thing I go out and shop for is food (sometimes) and clothes (sometimes but it's easier finding correct fit in shop), I'm surprised any other store on the high street still exists when you consider the above.
13 years as a studio owner, been to one store once, to pickup a roll of paper we needed urgently :) not sure how many busy commercial/professionals need to go to shops.
 
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7,125
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Robin
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13 years as a studio owner, been to one store once, to pickup a roll of paper we needed urgently :) not sure how many busy commercial/professionals need to go to shops.
.... Good point and back in my days as a professional Art Director all the pro photographers I worked with had an assistant and they would be sent out for supplies etc (including bacon sandwiches).

However, depending on what you are buying, there is so much choice of photography product out there that either visiting a shop or speaking to them on the phone before purchase is very valuable - You don't get that when only buying online and those lttle web page chat boxes are essentially hard selling people rather than advisors who shoot cameras themselves. WEX have a dedicated phone line for product advice.
 
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Graham
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My area (Portsmouth) was closed in 2013 from the first "under administration" just a week after I bought my 1st DSRL camera! My then nearest store (Waterlooville) which is about 10 miles away, had recently closed the store which laves me to go to Southampton or Brighton or Basingstoke for the next nearest store.

However, Portsmouth already has London Camera Exchange, but it is very small store.

I wouldn't be surprised if Jessops will close more shops especially these smaller ones. I would hope them to keep online store as well as few selected shops in the forthcoming future.
 
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1,388
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Jason
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A fortnight in and I've finally worked out the last thing I bought in Jessops... A Manfrotto 732CY tripod. With Tesco Clubcard points exchanged 4:1 and it was on a half price offer (and it really was half price at Jessops compared to everywhere else) - made it quite the bargain - I would surmise that the profit margin wasn't great on that transaction.
 
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I only visited my local Jessops on 2 occasions,( to buy a couple of SD cards and possibly a prime lens - I found the staff I interacted with had little or no photographic / Gear knowledge. I bought the 85mm prime from WEX in the end

Also most items can be bought on-line for a lot less than they charged - shame to see people put out of a job though

Les
 
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Clive
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Peter Jones should have closed all stores and opened a central UK base for on line sales only

How many Amazon shops do you see ?

Surprised at Mr Green's business plan to keep the shops open
No Amazon shops, but just about every large town now seams to have a huge Amazon warehouse.
 
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Peter
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Always found the Kingston store (old and new incarnations) very good. Helped havib Nikon UK HQ nearby as they have a dedicated Nikon guy in the shop. Bought my D3 from the old shop in 2010, great service. Shame that Pentax presence has dwindled as it narrows choice considerably.

I still prefer bricks and mortar to online for electrical gear. I want to see it and handle it at the point of purchase.

Grays, SRS and Cambrian are my go to places; I'll go out of my way to go to Cambrian in Colwyn Bay. Loss of Jessops will be sad; people ask if I am 'the' Peter Jones which is always followed by 'I would've saved Jacobs'.
 
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Tommy
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Peter Jones should have closed all stores and opened a central UK base for on line sales only

How many Amazon shops do you see ?

Surprised at Mr Green's business plan to keep the shops open
They would have went bust straight away, they can't compete with the likes of W.E.X online, never mind the grey market websites.

The retail stores are very important that's why W.E.X bought out Calumet so they could get there retail stores. Some people still prefer to shop in real life.

The issue with Jessops retail stores is the cost of running them as they are generally based in the town centre and rent and rates costs are huge.

Perhaps they need to take note of how W.E.X's retail stores are generally outside of the town centre so have much lower running costs.

If Jessops where online only no one would use them, with the other options that are available.

The only feasible way for Jessops to survive in any form would be too move their retails stores out of the town centre to lower their costs. They would also need to need to take a long hard look at how their stores are set up, available stock for anything above entry level is very poor. Jessops relied heavily on shifting large amounts of entry level equipment to passing foot flow. If they moved out of the town centre they would need to change how they do business completely if they where to survive, their current outdated way of doing business is finished.

W.E.X are clever in driving people into their stores with free workshops, open days, a good range of used stock instore, etc.

Destination stores need a way of driving people into the store.

Consumers want a shopping experience these days if they are going to buy from a physical shop, W.E.X do that to some degree but could improve, Jessops are just box shifters in their current format.
 
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7,125
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The retail stores are very important that's why W.E.X bought out Calumet so they could get there retail stores. Some people still prefer to shop in real life.
.... I'm a WEX fanboy (and also a HDEW fanboy). Even without going to WEX HQ in Norwich which is at least a 4hr (8hr round trip) drive away in a fast car, their customer service on the phone is exemplary, the very best.

But WEX urgently need to get the staff in Calumet shops up to standard and also coordinate their account and other systems - It should not take over a year to do this! Currently I avoid Calumet and have had nothing but problems with Calumet on several occasions.
 
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.... I'm a WEX fanboy (and also a HDEW fanboy). Even without going to WEX HQ in Norwich which is at least a 4hr (8hr round trip) drive away in a fast car, their customer service on the phone is exemplary, the very best.

But WEX urgently need to get the staff in Calumet shops up to standard and also coordinate their account and other systems - It should not take over a year to do this! Currently I avoid Calumet and have had nothing but problems with Calumet on several occasions.
To be honest I have had better experience with WEX via the old local “Calumet” store than via the head office. The staff at my local store are very knowledgeable and provide excellent service.
 
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Peter
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I'm not a huge fan of Jessops as I always feel like I'm walking in to a mobile phone shop about to be pounced on, though mostly the staff I've dealt with have been okay.

WEX on the other hand have exceeded my expectations massively on numerous occasions. The Manchester store staff are excellent, even (correctly) talking me out of spending a lot of money for very marginal gains. Their call staff are the best I've spoken to from any industry.
 
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I wanted to buy some binoculars last month and looked online to find out which ones were best, then went to Camarthen Cameras to try them out. The assistant really knew his stuff and gave me three or four pairs to try out, then let me use them outside the front of the shop to get a feel for real-world use. I really did not get on with the ones I'd planned to buy, and ended up buying a different pair for a similar price. All of the pairs that the assistant recommended I try were about the same price, and there was no pushing to spend more money at all. I was really impressed and will use them again.

For a high street shop to survive now I think they need to offer something you can't get with online stores. Great customer service with friendly staff that are actually interested in the items they sell, and are also willing to spend some time making sure you buy what's best for you. Stores like Wex and Camarthen Cameras seem have figured this out, but I'm not sure Jessops ever did.
 
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7,125
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I wanted to buy some binoculars last month and looked online to find out which ones were best, then went to Camarthen Cameras to try them out. The assistant really knew his stuff and gave me three or four pairs to try out, then let me use them outside the front of the shop to get a feel for real-world use. I really did not get on with the ones I'd planned to buy, and ended up buying a different pair for a similar price. All of the pairs that the assistant recommended I try were about the same price, and there was no pushing to spend more money at all. I was really impressed and will use them again.

For a high street shop to survive now I think they need to offer something you can't get with online stores. Great customer service with friendly staff that are actually interested in the items they sell, and are also willing to spend some time making sure you buy what's best for you. Stores like Wex and Camarthen Cameras seem have figured this out, but I'm not sure Jessops ever did.
.... I bought my Canon IS binoculars from Camarthen Cameras and also my Jobu products from them. Their part-ex on a Sirui gimbal I wasn't happy with was very fair and not as mean as other part-ex offers. The staff have always been very helpful on the phone too.
 
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I wanted to buy some binoculars last month and looked online to find out which ones were best, then went to Camarthen Cameras to try them out. The assistant really knew his stuff and gave me three or four pairs to try out, then let me use them outside the front of the shop to get a feel for real-world use. I really did not get on with the ones I'd planned to buy, and ended up buying a different pair for a similar price. All of the pairs that the assistant recommended I try were about the same price, and there was no pushing to spend more money at all. I was really impressed and will use them again.

For a high street shop to survive now I think they need to offer something you can't get with online stores. Great customer service with friendly staff that are actually interested in the items they sell, and are also willing to spend some time making sure you buy what's best for you. Stores like Wex and Camarthen Cameras seem have figured this out, but I'm not sure Jessops ever did.
Conversely I had a similar experience with Jessops in Kingston, Surrey. I was making the move from my heavy Canon gear (1Dx bodies etc.) to mirrorless and they couldn’t have been more obliging. I spent at least an hour standing outside their shop trying out the Sony A9 and A7RIII bodies with a variety of lenses they had in stock, a lot of the time without a staff member in attendance, they just let me get on with it. This particular store may have been an exception and I feel personally very sorry for them.
 

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35,845
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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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they need to offer something you can't get with online stores.

They do - the chance to handle and test the products in the hand. We might pay more for the product from them but their knowledge (usually) and the chance to try before I buy is worth it for me.
 
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High street shop do offer something else; money into the local and national economy.
 
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