Jobs at risk as Jessops shuts stores

First published in Countywide

HIGH street photography chain Jessops, which has five stores in Oxfordshire, went into administration yesterday.

The company said it was forced into the move after it carried out a “commercial viability review”

of its nationwide outlets.

It said 15 of its 200 UK stores would shut, but refused to reveal which when questioned by the Oxford Mail.

A spokesman said it would only announce details of the stores to be shut when the closures take place.

Staff at stores in St Ebbe’s and George Street in Oxford, Market Place in Abingdon, Castle Quay in Banbury and Sheep Street in Bicester must now wait to see if they will retain their jobs.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers were appointed to oversee administration proceedings.

Oxfordshire staff at the struggling camera company managed to keep their jobs despite 550 redundancies in 2007.

It narrowly avoided sinking again in 2009 by securing a debt for equity swap with its lenders HSBC, following a series of profit warnings.

However, the boom in camera phones and tablet devices hit business hard and an aggressive over-expansion campaign saw its share price plummet.

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