Canon May Inject $16M Into Struggling UK Camera Retailer Jessops

The fact that UK camera retailer Jessops has been struggling financially is pretty well established; what’s now under debate is whether or not Canon is going to make a sizable invest to bail them out. Just how sizable are we talking? Ten million pounds, or roughly 16 million dollars. According to an article in The Sunday Times ( in which no source was named) Canon is set to pull the trigger on the hefty investment in order to keep Jessops, the only specialized camera retailer in the UK, in business. But when asked to comment, both Jessops and Canon maintained that they will not comment on “rumor and speculation.”

The rise of the internet age and online shopping has certainly made things more difficult for brick and mortar retailers looking to stay relevant. As the only “try before you buy” camera chain in the UK, Jessops is in danger of becoming more of a “try and then go home and buy it cheaper” store. A major investment by Canon would be the second time someone has taken a serious interest in keeping the store afloat (the first was a frowned-upon deal between Jessops and HSBC in which the creditor wrote off 34 million pounds in debt in exchange for a 50% stake in the business).

(via Google and AP)

Image credit: Jessops – Corn Market by Betty Longbottom

  • Jonathon Marks

    “try and then go home and buy it cheaper” is the big issue here and its not going away, personally I feel things need to change, manufactures need to support stores so customers can go and try out their cameras, this may require manufactures to either support certain chains or run their own chains, like sony centres. Customers aren’t going to stop trying on the high street and buying online especially when the savings can be so large and money is tight for many at the moment.

  • Richard Olpin

    The *only* specialist camera retailer in the UK?  Cobblers!  What about Jacobs, Calumet and all the others then?

  • Charlie

    This investment has already taken place for starters. Jessops still sell a huge amount of canon products so for Canon this importance in the UK market is immeasurable. Obviously in exchange there will be a huge push for Canon. Not only does Jessops represent a very realistic selling opportunity for Canon products but as you say ‘a try before you buy cheaper online’ still garners interest in Canon products. Unfortunately there’s a certain inevitability that the Jessops demographic/market will continue to dissipate as the computer/sales/internet literate generations take hold however Jessops continue to strive to give great customer service, most affordable high street prices and a lasting relationship with the customer where they can come back and ask for product knowledge, learn new things and have a good experience…something Amazon will never offer.
    P.s. Your Jessops image is oldddd. They look more like this for the most part now!

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    I look forward to the day when all shopping is online and all the crowded, awful town/city centres are turned into places for people to meet, eat, drink and enjoy a nice atmosphere- and not run around like crazies with their huge amount of bags and baby buggies getting in the way – the ridiculously large shopping malls could be turned into amazing parks with the glass removed and trees and plants growing everywhere – like some long forgotten, eastern european, post-war concrete architecture – and think about all the traffic that will be removed from the road since people will shop at home and all those delivery lorries not having to ferry things back and forth from shopping centres – so many awful buildings could be demolished and made into wide-open public spaces.. the list goes on and on and on. Let’s just leave the “lack of jobs” argument out of this dream though, shall we? :P

  • jonathanjk

    Well wouldn’t the jobs in city centres switch from retail to entertainment and catering?

  • Dansmith

    charlie shut up

  • Manwithacamera

    In the USA, price of camera gears are almost same  in Amazon, BH and Adoroma. But in the UK, price difference between online stores like Amazon and retailers like Jessops are huge. Thats why people go for online shopping in the UK. It may be true other European countries. If it goes like this, no one can save the retailers in the UK or other European countries.

  • 9inchnail

     Exactly. Retailers hardly offer any advantage over online sale. The big argument of service and expert advice in stores just doesn’t cut it. Especially in Germany where you have to deal with unmotivated, rude employees who just feel annoyed if you ask for their help. Why would I drive to the city, deal with a lack of parking spaces, be treated like s*** in the store and pay 10-20% more when I can have it delivered to my doorstep via Amazon? Try before you buy? I can try the product for 14 days and send it back if I don’t like it. In the store, I have to ask one of these rude a**holes if I can try a camera and they’ll stand next to you the whole time looking annoyed that they have to be there with you instead of chatting with each other. And if you wanna take it back, you can only pray that they will actually accept that. Most of the time, you won’t even get your money back but you have to buy something else.

    No thanks. I’m buying online.

  • Simon Brown

     What about all the independents? Harrison Cameras in Sheffield have been providing a genuine service for years. There are still hundreds like them throughout the country. The service, product knowledge, appreciation of repeat custom and ordering service from such places, in my experience, totally outperforms the big chains. Jessops are in trouble because, some years ago, they decided to throw all these things out the window.

  • steve

    Some of the staff that work in Jessops are very good but some I’ve met can be quite rude.  I also don’t like that you can’t walk in the shop without one of them asking if you need any help.  So 99% of the time I have to tell them I’m just looking.  It might work in the US but not in the UK.

    The price difference can be outrageous at times.  Even Comet and Dixons have lower prices on some cameras and they’re not renowned for good prices.  They need to sell some products with tighter margins to get photographers in to the shops.

    I’m not sure that money from Canon would help if they don’t make some sensible changes.

  • Simon Brown

     “try and then go home and buy it cheaper” is just disgraceful manners. When I worked in retail you could spot the creeps who were doing this. We got to the point of refusing to serve them. Our figures actually improved.

    If you want to apparently save money by buying over the internet, buy over the internet. Just don’t go taking the piss out of shop staff first. Buy blind; that’s why it appears you’re making savings.

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    asking if you need any help is a mandatory part of their job, not approaching customers and asking such questions would reflect badly on them as “sales experts” (Jessops title for their general retail staff). Having worked in retail quite a lot in the past I can tell you first hand that you are pressured from management to engage with customers and ask those kinds of questions. We don’t really like to ask these questions :P we know how annoying it can be! but it’s just part of the job.

  • Danisadickhead

    You took the time to read the comment then wrote that – you must be an intelligent guy!

  • Lyn

    I like it when I get asked. I get frustrated when I’m ignored. But I’m Welsh, and we are culturally different to the English I guess.

  • Kozmo Nauta

    Yes let it die like the others.

  • mrbeard

    I was in a Jessops 3 weeks ago looking for ND filters, “sorry we dont stock them”, looking around the store, 1/2 the space was taken up with gimmicky photo junk for the casual photographer

  • Richo

    Jessops are so expensive for small items also however they do give good discount during sales time.  The only time I’ve ever asked for ‘advice’ from a ‘sales expert’ about a up and coming camera they looked at me if I was crazy!  Poor staff.

  • Jake

    Don’t you see any benefit of being able to see and feel merchandise with your own eyes before buying it?  Testing it out, trying it on, seeing what condition it’s in or how well it appears to have been made?  
    And for retailers, I’m sure that they get a large amount of business from people who just walk by the store and notice something that they didn’t know they want to buy but now do on impulse since it’s right there.
    And not having to wait for days for something you buy to arrive is definitely a huge advantage.  The whole world would slow down if every purchase you make takes days instead of minutes in a store to complete.
    In short, your vision terrifies me as a consumer, and I’m sure is even scarier for retailers. 

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    There is a level of quality that I expect from the companies that I buy from – I don’t find trying out in store to be anymore helpful than reading spec sheets online and/or watching demo videos on youtube. I can’t remember the last time I tried anything out in store or bought anything in-store for that matter. All my electronics purchases and clothing purchases etc have been done online for the passed 3+ years, going in-store is just too much hassle. I’d rather save the travel time and fuel cost and have it delivered.

  • Sam Soares

     totally agree with this! I always buy from Dale photographic in Leeds. they can give you advise and actually know what they’re talking about. Jessops is good enough if you want to buy a point and shoot but their staff have no knowledge on much more…

  • Osmosisstudios

    Wow, your company must SUCK and you must be just a shining beacon of personality.  I worked photo retail for 5 years: Yeah, you can spot the guys doing it, but there’s something to be said about good customer service.  

  • GayLetitia

    my buddy’s sister-in-law made $18108 a month ago. she worrks on the internet and bought a $525400 condo. All she did was get blessed and put into action the instructions given on this website ===>> ⇛⇛⇛⇛►

  • Three_fitty

    Jessops will price match the online price if you ask them….

  • Uir4442323243324weueyuirwer

    True, you might get the price cheaper off line, but then I guess retail employies a huge amount of people, no more retail jobs, then where are all these people going to work.  They will probably need to have some kind of benifit to cover their living costs, plus as they no longer have much money, there is less money to be spent and moving around.  Meaning prices of houses will have to come down, those in work will probably have to accept lower wages and lower pensions and a lower level of standard of life.  Plus online retailers may have to accept lower sales too, as there are less people working to buy stuff of them.  Those wishing to start a business on line will have to compete with some very low margin sales too.

  • Uir4442323243324weueyuirwer

    Uir4442323243324weueyuirwer 1 comment collapsed Collapse  Apologise for the bad spelling.  Did not check before I posted, “off line” is ment to be online and there are a few other spelling mistakes. 

  • Alex B

    Jacobs went under last year. Calumet aren’t high-street. I think Jessops’ full title is “the only national specialist high-street camera retailer”, but I’d dispute that if London Camera Exchange is national (though I think they’re actually a chain of franchises, therefore not technically ‘national’).