Administrators PwC said the camera shop chain was unable to continue trading and shops will not open on Saturday
Camera retailer Jessops has closed the doors on its 187 stores for the last time and made 1,370 staff redundant after the administrators said the camera shop chain was unable to continue trading.
The shock announcement on Friday, which came only days after the firm said it was in financial trouble, left staff stunned.
Head office staff in Leicester were told they would keep their jobs for the time being, but are also expected to be made redundant within the next few weeks.
The administrators, Edward Williams, Rob Hunt and Matthew Hammond of accountants PwC, said a review of the business had quickly revealed it was no longer viable. They said stores will not open on Saturday and customers will be unable to return any purchases.
Hunt said: “We have reviewed the position of the business and held extensive discussions with suppliers around their support for ongoing trading.
“It is apparent that we cannot continue to trade and as a result we have had to make the difficult decision to begin the closure of all 187 Jessops stores at the close of business today.
“Regrettably, this will result in around 1,370 job losses across the stores with further job losses likely, in due course, at the head office in Leicester.
He said stock will be collected from all the shops over the coming days and returned to a central warehouse.
“It will be returned to suppliers if they are entitled to it. As a consequence of the closure, Jessops is no longer able to accept returned product from customers,” he said.
Jessops is one of many high street names to go bust in the last year. It follows electrical retailer Comet and JJB Sports into the shop graveyard, with analysts saying there are likely to be many more victims before the economic recovery takes hold.
Figures covering the Christmas period show shoppers were reluctant to spend while wage rises remain constrained and cuts to welfare payments are in the pipeline. Only a handful of upmarket chains, including John Lewis, improved their sales significantly.
Estimates by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research on Friday suggested that the economy, which is suffering from a combination of austerity at home and a desperate lack of exports to European markets, may have contracted in the final three months of 2012. A second quarter of contraction at the start of 2013 would signal the onset of a triple-dip recession.