Jessops closes its doors – what’s your view?

Matt Bennett

What do you feel about Jessops’ closure? Will you miss having a high-street camera retailer? Where will you buy your gear in future?


As we previously reported and as you will by now all be aware, Jessops has closed its doors.

This is sad news, no doubt, for many photographers – both professional and amateur – who bought their very first camera and lens in person in one of Jessops’ stores.

Now that Jessops has gone, there are just a handful of independent camera retailers dotted around the UK for purchasing camera kit face-to-face, with the help of a salesman or woman to assist you in your choice.

This leaves many people with a straight choice between a long journey and buying online.

Online purchasing is all well and good, but the reality is that many people aren’t completely comfortable with it . Plus, from a practical point of view, you don’t get the chance to handle a camera and see if it suits you.

So, what will you do? Where have you been buying your kit of late and where will you buy in future?

Post your thoughts at the Digital Photographer forum.

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    • Stuart

      I bought my dslr off the web. Jessops were not even in the ballpark price-wise. Why pay more on the highstreet when you can get such good service off the Internet.

    • John

      Yes, Jessops’ prices may have been set too high but having a high street shop to go to is handy to at least get some advice and take a proper look at a product. DSLRs will often be a significant investment and it’s no good just going online and buying something that you haven’t even seen properly. Lucky for me, there are Curry’s and London Camera Exchange stores near me to try out new kit before I purchase but I can’t shake the feeling that plenty more businesses like these will go under, purely down to the fact that online retailers can out-compete so well, with lower running costs.

    • I was a manager for Jessops, ran the Warrington & Blackpool stores. I guess all the remaining large superstores and independants will benefit in some ways from Jessops’ closure.

      I heard many sob stories about web purchases from some sites, so those who moaned about Jessops’ prices and bought “value” sometimes got a nasty sting. All I can say is buy wisely from only the trusted websites, and where possible, UK companies – as many of these “value” buys are stock from overseas with no follow up support for customers who found problems with faulty stock.

      And while I’m at it – remember many moan publicly about bad experiences – hardly anyone puts on the web their good experiences of companies – be it Jessops or anyone else…

    • Sheldon

      People will learn at some point that there is more to the purchase process than price. While not from the UK I had visited Jessops on one of my trips there and it will definitely be unfortuneate to have them not serving the market. I use a local store that does charge more than what I can get the same for online but those online stores have next to no post sale service. I’ve had issues with some of the things that I bought and brought it back to the store and walked out with a replacement in minutes. The one thing that really burns me is those that would go to the local store and check out what they want and then go home and order it online. There are some camera stores that will survive because they also have an online division but I feel like the those that only want to have a camera store will find it very hard to remain competitive and stay in business.

    • Kevin F

      It’s obvious the shop retailers are not keeping up with prices available over the internet and Jessops are no doubt a victim of this; we also lost another very good retailer in the East Mids recently (Jacobs). The big disadvantage of this is going to affect many of us hobby/amateur photographers – who do we go to for advice about products or at least to have a look at the options. Give you an example – i have been contemplating buying a better camera bag, a good one that will last. You can look them up all day on the web but you can’t handle them and check out which one or type you prefer. I was thinking of one of one particular premium range and Jessops happened to have a couple in – after a good look decided against it. The only way to do that now is order a selection online and send back any you don’t want. Once you’ve paid the postage you won’t have saved much. So in my view it’s a shame the retailers are going.

    • Malcolm Johnston

      This is a conundrum. Jessops could not ‘keep up’ with on – line stores due to the simple fact that the web has fewer overheads. Sad that the ONLY high street photo retailer has gone bust and that now we have no-where to go except a round trip (in my case) of 50 miles to an independent. Will still search for products locally, but now will have great difficulty finding any. Sad day for all.

    • ChrisJ

      I’m afraid that High Street shops are going to be a thing of the past, with the costs of umpteen shops, staff, rent and rates, heating, lighting etc. etc.. they will never be able to compete with a Company with one unit on a trading estate with much lower overheads.

      It’s sad for beginners as they can’t as easily handle equipment they want to buy and make a choice. Or is it so bad they have gone?

      It has to be said some of the advice I heard handed out by Jessop’s staff was not just plain wrong sometimes, but was obviously pushed to the manufacturers that paid the store a commission for selling their product, I wonder how much longer Canon will be top dog because of this. Other manufacturers got a raw deal from Jessops, Pentax, Olympus, Fuji, Panasonic, Sony even, to a lesser extent,as they pay commission too Nikon.

      A lot of beginners were given bad advice in Jessops. you must have a ‘protection filter’ to enhance the images was one thing I heard, I could give other examples.

      Don’t for a second think that you were given independent advice in these stores. The staff were there to maximise their profits, not to give the best deal to the customer, which is probably why they finally failed, they’ve been caught out.

      If you want the best advice on any gear, join a photography club, where you can see the images different cameras produce, handle them, try them, learn how to use them etc. etc., and all for a couple of quid a week.

    • Bob Richards

      I have never really had good service from Jessops, prices have never really been competitive.
      I do not feel sorry for the bosses and share holder as they are in it for one thing only. What’s happened to Jessops is only the same as what they did to many independents that had to close down when Jessops started to dominate the High Street. What goes around comes around. R.I.P

    • Andy Wilson

      The demise of Jessops came as no big surprise for me and though it is very unfortunate for the employees to have lost their jobs I feel no pity for the loss of the chain. I always found going into Jessops a very disappointing experience with badly trained staff and limited stock availability. There were many times that I posed a query on a piece of equipment and where I was expecting a reply was just met with blank uncomprehending gazes! I have since always bought from my local independent retailer who are competitive with prices and offer an extremely good after sales care service and have superbly trained and passionate staff. Long live the indies!

    • Hugh

      With Jessops demise, shows like Focus on Imaging and BIPP’s London show, will be evan more important to us snappers for the latest gear, and hands on, try /test the equipment. Yes, I will miss Jessop.