Jessops loss is Jacobs gain...

Discussion in 'UK All Regions' started by FrankB, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    I know Jessops failings have been well-documented here before, but for me this is a new low (with a happy ending!) -


    Out shooting in Manchester for the APUG 5th Anniversary this lunchtime I was passing a Jessops and decided to pick up some fixer for use in processing the results. I went in and asked for a bottle of Ilford fixer.

    The manager's eyebrows went up quickly followed by his nose, then he made that odd noise that plumbers make just before they tell you how bad the job was that the last plumber did.

    "What you see is what you get!" he announced. Apparently, what I got was to be about twenty rolls of assorted film (mostly C41), a bottle of Jessops Econodev gnat's pee and an old accordion bottle.

    Up until now Jessops haven't shown much traditional stock, but they have at least had a bit in the store room. I asked but apparently, at this store at least, this is no longer the case. And it's not like this was anything incredibly esoteric - just a plain old bottle of fixer.

    As I turned to go he made the mistake of saying, "I suppose you might be able to order it from our website..." :mad:

    Normally I would have let it go, but the bloke's attitude annoyed me, so I enquired quietly why he thought I would choose their website, given that there were many sites offering that product... and that Jessops had just let me down. While he thought for an answer I pointed out that what he did have in his shop could also be bought from PC World, Currys, Comet, even Halfords (some of it).

    I then bit my lip and left without adding, "Why do you think your company's going bust?!" (which would have been a bit too much like shooting fish in a barrel!).


    Fuming quietly, my wanderings took me past a Jacobs outlet so I thought I'd give it one last try...

    Ilford Fixer? Certainly! Just over on that well-stocked shelf over there! 500ml, 1 litre or 5 litres? Hypam or Rapid Fixer? How about some Ilford / Harman Paper Developer? Cooltone or Warmtone, we have plenty of both?! Traditional paper? Of course! Resin or fibre? Cooltone, warmtone or neutral? Any accessories? We have Paterson tanks, reels, film clips, tongs, safelights...!

    I'd meant to get a load of stock in via mail order next week so instead I decided to stock up there just to support a high street outlet who still supported the traditional photographer, even if it was at a mark-up!

    Except it wasn't at a mark-up. I spent £80 and I think I might actually have saved a little money. Ended up with a nice chat about the Rollei 35 I was using and walked out a happy (and heavily-laden) man!

    In the past I've always regarded Jacobs as Jessops' poor relation, I've no idea why. I certainly won't be thinking of them like that any more!
     
  2. BarryWilkinson

    BarryWilkinson Subscriber

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    Have you had a visit from the boy's in blue?

    :D

    I hope you went back past Jessops with the Jacob's carrier bags in full view and gave them a wave?

    Barry
     
  3. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Barry,

    A kindred story from a rich friend, maybe 20 years ago.

    He went into one of the snootier London stores and said, "I'm interested in buying a Hasselblad system. Have you got this in stock:..." He then reeled off the list: a couple of bodies, three or four backs (including Polaroid) several lenses...

    The languid young man behind the counter said, "Are you a serious purchaser, sir?"

    "I f***ing was," came the reply. He then went down the road; bought all the kit; stopped his Rolls-Royce outside the original shop; and walked in with an armful of Hasselblad boxes. "You could have sold me this," he said, "If you weren't such a stupid c***."

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  4. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Frank. Pity that Jacobs haven't got the same retail network as Jessops. Apparently Jessops turned down the chance to be part of the Ilford D2D system or at least the negotiations between Ilford and Jessops never came to a successful outcome. I know this from making an inquiry about using Jessops in Banbury via Ilford. I now have a local minilab as my D2D dealer. Very convenient. Pity about Ilford prices in the catalogue. Currently on most items and usually the more expensive ones,large mail order stockists like Nova can beat the D2D prices by quite a margin.

    In Jessops case what you experienced was just another sign of a terminal illness but at least the patient thinks he's recovering which is better than contemplating a long and agonising death.

    pentaxuser
     
  5. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    I was in Jessops yesterday, a teeeny tiny part of Jessops/carphonewarehouse/talktalk/GAME shop (what the heck is going on there?) and there among the inkjet papers were ... actual packets of ilford multigrade RC paper. Only two (8x10 25+10 in Glossy and one in Pearl). I felt like rescuing them before they got ruined and returned by an irate d-photog who bought it and can't understand why their paper is turning pink/yellow/brown. But I didn't because it cost 10UKP each and for that money I can nearly buy a box of 100.
    Then they tried to charge my husband an extra quid from what was the stickered price on a lens cap (and it had two stickers on it saying the lower price). I really won't miss'em...
     
  6. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    I have a similar story to Roger's. Iwas in the mood to buy a Mamiya system and was in the number one pro outlet in Milwaukee who had 3 sales people standing behind a 6" counter. I had $12000.00 US cash in my pocket and was standing in front of them but could not attract their attention. I make fancy wood objects and it can be a dirty business so I usually look a little ratty (read this as no suit and tie). No one would wait on me. I left, went to another store who wanted to get the Mamiya franchise, told my story and in a few weeks they were in the Mamiya business. The other store now houses a coffee distributor...Evan Clarke
     
  7. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Evan,

    Surely not!

    Great story. Thanks.

    Cheers,

    roger
     
  8. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    I actually did pass Jessops on my way back and thought long and hard about going back in...

    In the end, I didn't do it. Instead I'll simply vote with my feet - buy anything I need from Jacobs if they carry it and go mail order for the rest.

    I won't be darkening Jessops' door again.
     
  9. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    Surely!!

    This behavior is rampant in the USA..Evan Clarke
     
  10. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Evan,

    What -- opening bloody coffee shops! No: my 'surely not' referred to the extraordinary coincidence that the camera store that refused to serve you is now out of business. I wonder why that could be?

    I heard a wonderful story from the 1920s or 30s about three brothers who owned a big logging company. When they were snubbed by the local Rolls Royce dealer, they went and bought three matching Cadillacs -- V12s or V16s, maybe -- and circled the Rolls Royce dealer for ten minutes, waving and blowing their horns.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  11. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    I used to like the Jacobs in Leeds - but sadly it closed down some time ago (just before/after Christmas I think.) So now we have Jessops, one good indepedent camera shop which is great for 2nd hand kit but doesn't sell consumables, and one independent shop which is so thoroughly noxious I refuse to dignify them with my trade... Very sad :sad:
     
  12. ben-s

    ben-s Member

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    I must admit for the most part, I have switched to Calumet and Jacobs now.
    I got fed up with Jessops and their lack of stock of useful things.

    I'll continue to use the smaller Nottingham branch until they close, mainly because the staff are pleasant, and I've built up a good relationship with them.
    I wish there was somewhere in Nottingham that still did second hand stuff...
    Jacobs have a small amount of stuff, but rarely anything I actually need.

    It's unfortunate, but whenever Jessops comes up now, it's under a black cloud. - How long do you give them to live? (Assuming they don't mend their ways)
     
  13. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    My dad had a story about when he was a clark in a small-town bank in Canada in the early 1930's. An old fellow dressed in old clothes came into the bank, sat down, and waited. Although it wasn't really his job Dad noticed he was being ignored by the rest of the staff so went over to him and asked if he could help him. The old guy said yes, he wanted to deposit $20,000. Apparently there would have been hell to pay if the bank had found out the staff had let this guy and his money out of the building!
     
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  15. Rob Archer

    Rob Archer Member

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    I did quite well out of Jessops lack of staff training the other week. Like FrankB I went into my local branch in the vain hope of getting some fixer. I espied a couple of rolls of Kodak HIE on the shelf along with the ususl Kodak C41 stuff. I asked the lad how much it was. "Dunno, fink all the films are £2.99 each" Scanned it into the till and it came up as £10.99. "that can't be right" he says and overrode it to £2.99 before I could say anything. I wasn't going to argue and departed fixerless, but clutching 2 rolls of HIE for £5.98!

    Rob
     
  16. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    Roger, that is what I meant. It was THE pro photography shop for a 90 mile radius and they folded fast. Interestingly, the sales culprits moved as a group to another local store chain here and are busy providing more poor service. I can't wait to see how long these people last especially since their whole product line is now digital and they must compete with appliance chains..TTYL..Evan
     
  17. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I once went in to century Camera on Woodward Ave. berkely Mich to buy an MF out fit. I had a boatload of cash burning a hole in my pocket. The guys behind the counter (the tall thin balding and short squat balding pair that came with the building) couldn't be bothered.. I drove to Camera Mart on Huron rd (M59) and telegraph in Pontiac Mich and bought a mamiya 6mf 3 lenses a handful of filters and a camera bag. I continued to support them up until I left the Detroit area. To this day I have never figured out why some camera store clerks are such arrogant bone heads
     
  18. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Evan,

    An interesting light on what constitutes 'professional'.

    Let us all know when their new bosses go bust or fire them. It couldn't happen to nicer people.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  19. mark

    mark Member

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    Yep never know who you are dealing with.

    My dad grew up in the east texas oil fields and worked one summer in a rig supply warehouse. Some ratty looking guy came in ordered a boat load of stuff and walked out the door. Dad called the boss and asked what he should do. After describing the guy, the OWNER of the warehouse came down and filled the order himself, then waited patiently for a day or so until the guy came back. Dad figured the owner was nuts. Turned out the guy was one of the richest oil guys in the state.


    As for snotty camera guys, I just think some people are in these places because they have to be. Can't make it as working photogs so put on airs. In Albuquerque there are two places. One is Camera and Darkroom, the other is Kurt's. Kurt's is filled with arrogance. Camera and Darkroom is filled with overly helpful and wonderful people. The guy with a hook for a hand rocks.
     
  20. Sandeha Lynch

    Sandeha Lynch Member

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    There have been three camera stores in my local town for the past ten years. Two of them survive thinly on bags, binoculars and processing, and keep a small range of film, but no chemicals. And then there's Jessops.

    Fate has been somewhat kinder to Jessops here. Some of the staff are old-school photogs (think plumbing dept at B&Q, just like that) who grin and bear with it. But, just as the digital makeover was happening in the shop, the local HE college Art Dept moved into a new building two streets away ... imagine, it's now difficult to find RC paper at Jessops because they mostly stock FB !!
     
  21. rpsawin

    rpsawin Subscriber

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    My first serious gear purchase was in the early 70's and I was a longhaired, bearded youth. I went to one of the local pro stores three or four times to look at different cameras and lenses. I always had the same "order taker" wait on me. On my last visit I had lots of cash and was ready to buy...camera, three lenses, filter, bag and film. The "order taker" saw me coming and as I got to the counter he headed for the stock room. In a few minutes a kid a bit younger than me appeared and nervously appraoched me. I told him what I wanted, he rang it up and he got credit for the sale. I only wish I could of heard the other a.h.'s comments.

    Bob
     
  22. mark

    mark Member

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    My wife saw this thread over my shoulder and reminded me about the first saleswoman who "helped" us when we started looking for our van. She was a jerk. Saw our trade in and told us we would never be able to afford a "Cadi". Since we were looking for a van this was not an issue. Then she told us we would have to leave our car, since we were going to trade it in, for a few days to get it appraised. Complete load of crap. They had the best price on what we wanted so when we went back we sought out another salesman who was very helpful courteous and everything the lady was not. After we signed the papers and the deal was done-having had our trade in appraised in under five minutes-the original woman came up and told our salesman that the commission was hers since she was the first to "help us". Before I or the salesman could say anything my wife called the owner over-he shakes the hand of new car buyers and new car buyers roll their eyes. My wife told him the salesman, not woman got the commission because the woman was a jerk and told the owner the story.

    I went back a month later to get a recall-repair done and the salesman told me the woman was let go after we left, because of what my wife told the owner.

    I have seen this attitude in so many places that I wonder where it comes from.
     
  23. BarryWilkinson

    BarryWilkinson Subscriber

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    There used to be three Jessops branches in Croydon, Surrey. One went fairly recently, the second is having a closing down sale. How long the third will stay, only time will tell. All the other big digi dealers are in the High St.

    I thought I would look and see if there is an online sale only to see that their domain (jessops.co.uk) does not work anymore.

    Barry
     
  24. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I hope that you are not proposing that we attend the wake.
     
  25. BarryWilkinson

    BarryWilkinson Subscriber

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    No, I was just looking for bargains, However if there is free cheesecake...

    :D

    Barry
     
  26. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Maybe I could be persuaded. :smile: