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  1. #1
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    What's the problem with Jessops

    My local Jessops now stocks a lot more B&W film 35mm & 120 (almost all Ilford) & Ilford papers than it did on my last visit back to the UK. (Plus dev, fix etc). However no neg storage sheets, they are to special order & take around 28 days.

    There's no logic in this they are selling more B&W film than a year ago but how do they expect people to store them ?

    So with 2-3 days delivery from Silverprint that means another lost sale for Jessops, and I bought everything from Silverprint as a consequence.

    Then there's the cable releases I bought that didn't fit any of my cameras or shutters, the end piece that screws in to the shutter release was too large - on returning them I was told they are discontinued- but still for sale

    Ian

  2. #2

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    Ian While they have improved stock-wise I don't think they have thought things through properly. An example is paper prices. Currently Jessops is beaten price-wise by most of the internet stockists even allowing for fairly substantial postage costs. The edge Jessops could have is that if you live near or in a medium size town then Jessops products can be picked up by walking in so no p&p but it needs to reduce prices just a little to get the business. A small reduction in price might bring in a lot of business.

    It has a good ordering system on the internet plus a quick delivery to a local store but doesn't follow through on price to give it the edge.

    Nice meeting you at Ilford

    pentaxuser

  3. #3

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    My local Jessops stocked negative storage sheets when I asked for some a couple of months ago. However, the previous Jessops sheets I had were translucent rather than transparent and were described as "economy". The latest were named in some way - I forget the word - as to imply that they were more up-market, and were totally clear. I didn't give it a thought at the time, but when I tried to slip a strip of six 35mm negs in I found it to be all but impossible as the clear plastic clings tightly to the uncoated side of the film. They were totally unusable, whereas the "economy" product was absolutely fine.
    I may even call in to Jessops this lunchtime and see whether they have the cheapy version in stock.

    Best wishes,

    Steve

  4. #4

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    Where to start.....

    1) Having visited Jessops stores across the UK (I used to do a lot of travel from Aberbeen to the Channel Islands) I found them to be very 'hit and miss' when it comes to anything other than he most commonplace goods - whether it's stock, pricing, advice, whatever...

    2) I work in London and have got to the point where I will only use their so-called World Camera Centre on Oxford Street. Their other shops seem to employ the disinterested and disaffected and just can't be bothered unless you're waving a wad of cash in their face.

    3) They don't stock any second-hand equipment anymore. Sorry, but you can't cherry-pick like that in today's market. It's not even as if they're competitive. I was quoted a ridiculous price for a 4GB compact flash card - which they refused to change - despite sticking an advert clearly showing their competitor as being half the price.

    4) They say they'll price match but I've been little evidence that they will.

    5) They are sooooooo arrogant. They reckon they're the best bacause they have the most branches. They aren't a patch on smaller independents such as Ffordes and Misfuds. My local pro shop might not have their level of stock but he's incredibly helpful and will get me anything I ask for. Jacobs (probably the second largest chain?) are infinitely better trained (in my opinion) and have staff who happen to be photographers.

    It's a real shame as they should be the photographers' favourite store. I'm not sure why they seem to be so far off the pace but, in my opinion, they need to pretend that they're small independent shops that need the business.
    Paul Jenkin (a late developer...)

  5. #5
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    They subscribe to the "Yes we have no bananas" school of marketing, they never have what you want in stock, but can order it for you, I tell them I came into their shop to pay for it and take it home because I need it now, if I wanted to order it I could order it on-line and get it quicker and cheaper than they could supply it.
    Ben

  6. #6
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Under the guidance of Tim Brookes, the Chairman brought in to prepare Jessops for floatation on the Stock Exchange, Jessops had a very different attitude and policies. He left around 2004.

    I met Tim a couple of times around 6 or 7 years ago and remember him asking what I thought of the company's stores. At that time I had only positive experiences, they weren't my main supplier but they could get anything I wanted, even if not in their catalogue, and they would always price match . That policy unfortunately quickly changed after Tim left.

    Ian

  7. #7
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    The Jessop's store near me usually has what I want. Saying that, I don't usually want anything too exotic. Just Developer, fixer and film.

    On two consecutive visits I was told by two assistants "The black and white film seems to be getting more popular" then "There's not so much call for this stuff now".



    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  8. #8

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    The latest I've heard is that Jessops chairman, David Adams is looking into doing a tie-up with a single camera manufacturer (possibly Canon??). The idea being to sell only one camera brand from their stores rather than a range of them and thus become the UK retail arm of one of the large Japanese camera companies (again, possibly Canon??).

    Whatever happens, my own opinion is that Jessops lost the plot a few years ago when they trumpeted the arrival of digital as sounding the death knell for analogue and subsequently adjusted their market strategy accordingly.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    I don't usually want anything too exotic. Just Developer, fixer and film.
    In a lot of branches that is exotic!

    My local Jessops has been helpful when I have ordered things but they strike me as being a store of box-shifters who don't know anything about trad materials, and not much more about the rest. I cringed once when hearing an assistant try to explain to customers what an orange filter is for (they were hopelessly wrong). It wasn't the only time. While I don't expect them all to be experts, the level of ignorance in a 'specialist' photography shop was worse than I had anticipated. If they were selling cameras alongside a host of electrical kite and boys' toys I might be less bothered. The Jessops of old was smaller, flexible and competitive on price.

    Since their prices for straightforward items like film, memory cards and batteries are considerably more than over the 'net or the 'phone (I've always liked dealing with Mathers, for instance) I never even give them a thought for those kinds of things.

  10. #10
    Martin Aislabie's Avatar
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    Jessops seem to me to be in a death spiral

    They don't seem to care what their customers ask for - and only try to sell what is there directly in front of them.

    I have even had to direct staff to products that are on the shelves behind the counter as they were unaware of its existence

    I have almost given up on going to my local store - it makes me cringe when I have to deal with staff that seems to be recruited for their indifference - although the occasional good one slips through the net by mistake.

    My conversations at Jessops tend to go something like this

    Me – “Hi, do you have any Hypam Fixer?” (insert almost any analogue product here)

    Assistant – “Err, duno. I’ll have to go and check” – wanders off to talk to a few equally vacuous colleagues
    – “No”

    Me – “Can you order me some, how much would it be and how long will it take to arrive?”

    Assistant – “Err, duno. I’ll have to go and check” – wanders off to talk to same few equally vacuous colleagues
    – “Err, duno”

    Me – “Is it something you stock in your main Warehouse”

    Assistant looking blankly at a Computer Screen – “Err, duno. We don’t sell much like that these days”

    Me – “Do you have many people ask for photographic chemicals?”

    Assistant – “Err, duno”

    Me – “Are you surprised?” (trying not to be too cross at this point)

    Assistant – Blank look

    Me –”OK, never mind. Don’t worry I’ll go and buy it somewhere else”

    Assistant – Blank look

    If they don’t take any notice of what their customers come in to ask for – not what they can sell them – then they are surely doomed.
    Its just a matter of time before the whole operation goes belly-up

    The shame of it is Jessops used to be a really good place for photographic gear and consumables. However, due to various changes at the top over the last few years, they have managed to loose all credibility and their dominance in the market.
    There was a time that I didn’t bother checking round for price comparisons as I could go to Jessops and they were as cheap as or cheaper than anyone.

    It really wasn’t that many years ago believe it or not.

    Very, very sad

    Martin

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