British camera retailer Jessops sold after collapse

February 02, 2013 - 3:02:13 am

LONDON: Britain’s failed camera retailer Jessops has been purchased by a group that includes entrepreneur Peter Jones, who stars on business-themed television show Dragon’s Den, administrators said yesterday.

Administrator PriceWaterhouse-Coopers said in a statement that it had sold “the brand and certain other assets” after Jessops, which dates from 1935, closed its 187 stores and laid off 1,370 stores last month. It had collapsed into administration — in which a troubled company calls upon independent expert financial help in an attempt to stay operational — a day earlier.

British media reported that Jones, chief executive of Phones International Group, would seek to revive the brand as an online retailer.

Jessops was among several British high street retailers to enter administration in January, with DVD rental firm Blockbuster and music chain HMV also falling victim to tough economic conditions and competition from online. The group also faced a challenge from the growing popularity of camera phones, which ate into demand for digital cameras.