ADMINISTRATORS to close all of the failed camera chain Jessops’ stores, with the loss of 1,370 jobs, it has been announced

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PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which was appointed to the group on Wednesday, said it would begin the process of shutting the 187-store network at the close of business today.

The administrators said further job losses are likely at the group’s head office in Leicester. Among Jessops’ stores are branches in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Colchester and Lowestoft.

Jessops is the first high-profile retail casualty of 2013, after suffering from online competition and a boom in camera phones in recent years, hitting demand for digital cameras.

Rob Hunt, joint administrator and a partner at PwC said: “Since my appointment, we have reviewed the position of the business and held extensive discussions with suppliers around their support for ongoing trading.

“It is apparent that we cannot continue to trade and as a result we have had to make the difficult decision to begin the closure of all 187 Jessops stores at the close of business today.

“Regrettably, this will result in around 1,370 job losses across the stores with further job losses likely, in due course, at the head office in Leicester.

“The stock will be collected over the coming days and returned to a central warehouse. It will be returned to suppliers if they are entitled to it. As a consequence of the closure, Jessops is no longer able to accept returned product from customers.”

He added: “This is an extremely sad day for Jessops and its employees. We are very grateful for the support we have received since our appointment and we will continue to ensure that employees are paid as they assist us during the closure.”

Updates for consumers will be available through the Jessops and PwC websites shortly at www.pwc.co.uk/jessops .

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