Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The end of high street photo retail

I guess it had to happen really and was more question of when rather than if but the UK photography chain Jessops went into receivership as of today brought about by an inability in the part of directors, creditors and suppliers to extend credit to this long established but ailing concern that goes back many decades.
It's my understanding some suppliers had during last year offered credit to them to enable their products to be sold as it was the #1 high street outlet for their goods.
Jessops was the first chain in the UK I established a relationship with as a consumer, a place where at the time you could get all manner of advice connected with photography, the virtues of different lenses, filters, film ect over the sales counter. My local branch would root out stuff for me to try instore without obligation. They also run a photography residential school with industry experts providing tuition.
Two things probably did for this type of retailing, the first being digital photography has  less repeat custom after buying a camera and maybe a spare memory card and for Dslr users an additional lens or two. You sure wouldn't be buying a new memory card each week in the way you bought film and although they'd invested in instore printing, a lot of casual users either print at home or don't even print their images so you wouldn't be getting much of an income stream from that!
As a traditional film slr user I saw reductions traditional products in stock to the point while on vacation I couldn't get medium speed print film and ended up visiting a well known drugstore that had better stocks off the shelf!
Also many users use smartphones as cameras leading to a drop in demand for digital compacts that come on contracts while professionals users would use online stores that held larger 'to go' supplies with rapid delivery

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