Future of camera retailing: Jessops’ doors close, Canon’s open

Jessops back to black

Analysis by Photography Week.

Jessops, the UK’s biggest photographic retailer, has had to shut all of its stores after it filed for bankruptcy last week. The retailer’s sudden – but not unexpected – demise has resulted in the loss of almost 1,400 jobs.

It’s obviously very big news for Jessops’ employees, but the closure is also expected to have a big knock-on effect for the hundreds of camera manufacturers and distributors who sold their products through Jessops outlets. Then there’s the thousands of customers who have placed orders of paid deposits, who are unlikely to get a penny of their money back. The closure will undoubtedly affect camera and accessory sales in the UK, and may even dent investor and buyer confidence in similar retailers in Europe and elsewhere.

Jessops

Online trailers will pick up the slack, but only up to a point. The oft-cited benefit of bricks-and-motar shops is that buyers can try before they buy and – even more importantly – get information and advice from knowledgeable and well-trained staff. Online shopping removes this layer of interaction, and potentially results in a less beneficial buying experience for consumers.

The future of camera retailing

But this doesn’t necessarily spell the beginning of the end for traditional bricks-and-motar camera retailers. In fact, just days after Jessops went into administration, Canon announced the opening of its first so-called Image Experience Centre in Calgary, Canada, with more to follow. Canon Image Square is an interactive store experience that takes a bite out of Apple’s retail model – a bright, uncluttered showroom experience is accompanied by camera discovery tables, multimedia displays, a hands-on studio and learning spaces. Could this be the future of camera retailing?

Via Photography Week.

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Original story on Jessops: Jessops enters administration, will close stores
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