17 October 2019 07:53
// Peter Jones might call in administrators to carry out a CVA for Jessops, placing 500 jobs at risk // The Dragons Den star had previously saved it from a controversial administration in 2013 // Jessops has not made a single profit and losses have mounted since Peter Jones' rescue Jessops is reportedly set to call in administrators as its owner, Dragons Den star Peter Jones, makes a last-ditch attempt to save the long-running camera retailer. According to Sky News, Jones is planning to seek a secure a rescue deal with landlords and creditors in the form of a CVA, which is likely to lead to store closures and rent cuts. The news places the jobs of around 500 Jessops staff across 46 stores at risk of a redundancy process. READ MORE: Big Interview: Peter Jones It is not yet known how many stores would be at risk of closure, but sources speaking to Sky News said Jones still saw a future for Jessops – which was founded in 1935. The Dragons Den star has owned Jessops since 2013, when he bought it out of a controversial administration borne out of £81 million of debt led to the closure of 187 stores.
Since then, while Jones has re-opened some of the Jessops stores that shut down, the camera and photography retailer has barely achieved the sales and profits it set out in 2013. Jones had predicted sales of at least £80 million during the first year Jessops was under his control, but the retailer only raked in £7.5 million for that year. News of Jessops' uncertain future comes a month after its now-former chief executive Neil Old was poached by H Samuel and Ernest Jones owner Signet Jewelers as managing director of its UK division. Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette's free daily email newsletter