Traders ‘to blame’

I READ Andrew Hitchon’s column of January 22 on the demise of two well-known high street traders and fully support his concerns.

The issue, however, is that these traders have not kept up to date with the market moves.

For example: Jessops’s concentration on the photographic niche was its downfall. The company coped with the switch to digital photography, but then tried to sell high-cost products to the masses; rather like trying to sell Rolls-Royces to the Honda community (and I drive a Honda).

After many years of Pentax SLRs, etc, I bought a digital camera. I did not give Jessops a thought but bought it from a high-street chain.

HMV: Oh, such bad management! This was a store ripe for concentrating what they were good at. But instead the management panicked and chose to diversify. I am a classical music fan and in 2000 I could select from a wide range of CDs; in 2009 (last time I was in) there were fewer than two racks of classical of CDs. Borders went the same way.

York must encourage traders but these traders must have a saleable product.

The city needs more butchers, greengrocers, record sellers, etc, and not the supermarket “small stores”.

Neil Raw, Oriel Grove, Clifton Without York.

Comments (2)

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1:10pm Tue 29 Jan 13

Maquis says...

Jessops was finally killed off by the cameras on mobile phones, but the writing had been on the wall for more than a decade.
They had been bailed out by both HSBC and Canon.
They were too big, they wanted to be a specialist shop, but didn't have knowledgeable enough staff. They were good at selling compact cameras, but not much more. They price matched online stores while keeping the shops, therefore making no margin to cover the costs, Their only real source of income was by selling the extended warranties.

HMV was just 15 years out of date. They should have made more of the internet and diversified more. Supermarkets took a good chunk of the chart sales through the 90's, leaving HMV with a reduced market, then the online market just killed them off.

The loss of these big names is sad and painful for those directly affected, but this cloud will hopefully have a silver lining.
Many of these Juggernaut chains with shops in every town and city have become far too big and uneconomical. They paid above the odds for the lease and rent of prime locations, forcing out the smaller independents. This was done to build up their portfolios regardless as to their viability and build largely on debt.
In time hopefully this will begin to reset the high street and make it more enterprising and generally better for us all.
Jessops was finally killed off by the cameras on mobile phones, but the writing had been on the wall for more than a decade. They had been bailed out by both HSBC and Canon. They were too big, they wanted to be a specialist shop, but didn't have knowledgeable enough staff. They were good at selling compact cameras, but not much more. They price matched online stores while keeping the shops, therefore making no margin to cover the costs, Their only real source of income was by selling the extended warranties. HMV was just 15 years out of date. They should have made more of the internet and diversified more. Supermarkets took a good chunk of the chart sales through the 90's, leaving HMV with a reduced market, then the online market just killed them off. The loss of these big names is sad and painful for those directly affected, but this cloud will hopefully have a silver lining. Many of these Juggernaut chains with shops in every town and city have become far too big and uneconomical. They paid above the odds for the lease and rent of prime locations, forcing out the smaller independents. This was done to build up their portfolios regardless as to their viability and build largely on debt. In time hopefully this will begin to reset the high street and make it more enterprising and generally better for us all. Maquis

5:53am Wed 30 Jan 13

yawn.. says...

So, in conclusion, Jessops folded because they failed to diversify where, on the other hand HMV ran in to difficulty because they did. Glad we cleared that one up..

I fear it perhaps has more to do with the ridiculous business rates charged for high street locations coupled with the fact you can usually get an item delivered to your door cheaper for that very reason.

Add to that a barely adequate public transport system, hopeless traffic congestion and ludicrous parking charges and I fear the writing is on the wall for yet more small/medium size businesses.
So, in conclusion, Jessops folded because they failed to diversify where, on the other hand HMV ran in to difficulty because they did. Glad we cleared that one up.. I fear it perhaps has more to do with the ridiculous business rates charged for high street locations coupled with the fact you can usually get an item delivered to your door cheaper for that very reason. Add to that a barely adequate public transport system, hopeless traffic congestion and ludicrous parking charges and I fear the writing is on the wall for yet more small/medium size businesses. yawn..

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