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Britain has seen three major High Street chains go into administration this week: Jessops (for many years The High Street's camera specialist), Blockbuster (the long-time leader in home video/DVD rental) and HMV (the last remaining dedicated music outlet).
As well as the recession, people are blaming the companies' failures on the growing use of the Internet for personal shopping and for Jessops this is particularly sad as its staff have shared their extensive expertise with customers interested in finding out about a camera's attributes... they've demonstrated how the camera works and allowed the customer to 'have a play around with it' before seeing the customer go off to, no doubt, search for and buy the camera online, to save money.
Perhaps if the marketing people had been a bit more switched on they'd have found a way of using the superior service offered in-store to the company’s advantage - perhaps even by charging for it and then offering discount vouchers to be put towards purchases made at the store. I don’t know if the company had an Internet-based mail order business but if it did, it wasn’t publicised enough. Jessops' demise needs to be taken as a warning to other companies like it, to find a way to work with the Internet rather than ignore it in the hope that it won’t take too much business away.
And while the reports talk about the number of job losses related to each company’s closure, no-one ever mentions the number of cleaners who’ve lost their jobs because of the closures, do they?
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17th January 2013