Camera retailer goes into administration

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The UK’s largest independent camera retailer, Cecil Jacobs, has collapsed into administration, putting more than 150 jobs at risk.

The family-run firm, which is more than 70 years old and has three Yorkshire stores among its chain of 19, is the latest victim of the squeeze on the high street.

Administrators at PKF said they will carry on running the Leicester-based business, which employs 154 staff, while they seek a buyer.

Joint-administrator Eddie Kerr said: “It’s desperately sad to see a family-run business such as Cecil Jacobs encounter problems.

“The company has a rich heritage and loyal customer base, but this has not been enough to see it through the ongoing economic slowdown.”

Administrators are undertaking an immediate review of its estate and said closures could not be ruled out.

It is understood the business was hit by the squeeze in consumer spending, while the increasing quality of cameras on mobile phones has also ramped up pressure on the industry.

Cecil Jacobs founded the business in 1939 when he opened a chemist shop in Melton Road, Leicester. He started selling cameras in his second shop in the city in the late 1940s.

In 1984, amid booming demand for photography and home video, it opened a superstore, and three years later its first store outside Leicester, in Birmingham.

The company currently has three stores in London, two in Leicester and others in Sheffield, Nottingham, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Kingston upon Thames, Glasgow, Hull, Edinburgh, Derby, Cardiff, Bristol and Birmingham.