Friday, January 11, 2013

Let Jessops survive online

The retail world was again hit with more doom and gloom on Wednesday, as it was announced that the troubled photography chain Jessops had gone into Administration. Having managed to avoid a similar situation in 2009, when its bank HSBC swapped debt for equity, the Administrators were called in as Jessops became the first large retailer of 2013 to topple. However today things went from bad to worse as PWC closed all the stores and put the following holding message up on the website:
Customer Notice

The Jessop Group Limited (in Administration)
Edward Williams, Robert Jonathan Hunt and Matthew David Hammond of PwC were appointed as joint administrators of The Jessop Group Limited on 9 January 2013. With effect from 11 January 2013, Jessops online and retail stores have ceased trading.
A gloomy forecast for the year ahead, as well as increasing completion from online traders, has been given as the cause. But is there still life in the Jessops brand and proposition?
I hope so. As a previous customer in the store, I found it to be a really positive shopping experience, staffed with friendly and knowledgeable people.

As a Multi-channel retailer, with a presence on the High Street and online, it may well not survive. However as an online could surely be some possibility that it continue:
  1. The brand still exists in the hearts and minds of its customers
  2. The domain name still has a lot of clout online
As of today (according to alexa.com), the domain jessops.com had::
  • A global ranking of: 17,441
  • A GB ranking of: 472
  • And 1,682 in-bound links
Although it may not be possible, the best thing to do right now to preserve the integrity of the online brand is to bring the website back. Shutting the eCommerce site has not only stopped visitors looking at the available products (you stopped being able to buy them on Wednesday) but is slowly ruining the online credibility of a once successful site.

Or to put it another way... even if the Administrators redirected the URL to the Cameras landing page on amazon.co.uk via an affiliate arrangement, they would still get around 5% of every subsequent sale!
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