PwC appointed as Jessops administrator

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PwC has been appointed as administrator for camera retailer Jessops, which has become the first High Street casualty of 2013

The Big Four firm has said it is “inevitable” that some stores would have to close.

The chain has been hit in recent years by increasing competition from supermarkets and internet retailers. It has 192 stores in the UK, and employs about 2,000 staff.

In 2009, Jessops managed to avoid administration by agreeing a debt for equity swap with its lender HSBC.

Rob Hunt, joint administrator and partner at PwC, said, "Our most pressing task is to review the company's financial position and hold discussions with its principal stakeholders to see if the business can be preserved.

"Trading in the stores is hoped to continue today but is critically dependent on these ongoing discussions. However, in the current economic climate it is inevitable that there will be store closures."

Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor, said Jessops' administration was "yet another blow" for the UK High Street.

"With substantial cash outflows on the 25 December quarterly rent day combining with fierce pricing competition during the January sales, it puts significant pressure on finances,” she said.

"The administration of such a household name can only serve to damage consumer confidence further in the months ahead."

 

Helen Roxburgh

 

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