1,370 jobs lost as all Jessops stores close

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Electrical retailer Jessops is to close all 187 stores just two days after entering administration.

The loss-making chain decided to call time on its operations after failing to reach a deal with its suppliers and lenders that could have seen the company trade from administration.

The decision means all 1,370 staff at the retailer’s stores will lose their jobs with further redundancies expected at the company’s Leicester headquarters.

Rob Hunt, the PricewaterhouseCoopers administrator, 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.”

The collapse of the listed group is the first high profile casualty on the high street in a year when banks are expected to take a tougher approach to defaulting borrowers.

HSBC (LSE: HSBA.L - news) called time on Jessops despite being its largest shareholder after a debt for equity swap last year. The bank’s attitude was criticised by former Jessops chairman David Adams . Last year a rescue offer for the group was turned down by HSBC “out of hand” according to Mr Adams.

Mr Hunt said: “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.

“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.”