Apparently business rates on Jessops best Manchester store was £4000 per square meter whereas Amazons fulfilment centres are charged £40 per square meter. Nuff said really.
FWIW last couple of times I have bought a camera, on both occasions in Japan, I bought at prices matching the best online offers I could find at the time, and was treated to an English speaking member of staff insisting on taking me through the major features of the product, donning white gloves to fit the screen-protector and filter I had decided to buy, and giving me freebies including a very nice Canon calendar on one occasion, and a Nikon camera care kit – with laughing apologies they'd run out of Canon-branded kits – on the other.
And on a third occasion I was encouraged to buy a particular lens rather than the pricier one I had in mind by a salesman producing not just lens test charts but also an album of pictures he'd taken with that lens of his kids, etc.
It seems it's possible to offer service and keen prices – maybe it's just a cultural thing...
I think that's called Appletude.
Audio Editor, Gramophone
[/quote] ....at which point I left the shop chuckling to myself.
I hope you waited until you were outside, as it is absolutely against the law to raise as much as a smile inside an Apple store.
I agree I remember when I helped my sister and brother in law buy their Canon 7D from the Trafford Centre store. Staff were really helpful and the manager gave them a really good deal on the body and lenses etc that they wanted.
But yes I'm not surprised they have been struggling because its yet another case of not being able to compete with the online retailers.
Must be a shop by shop thing. The guys who work in the Trafford Centre branch are spot on
Indeed, all my kids have had jobs in the Trafford Centre and the rates the shops have to pay are HUGE!. I understand all the arguments about on-line retailers being cheaper and shops not being able to compete etc but for me it just isn't the same. When I'm after a new gadget, I get more enjoyment out of researching stuff, reading reviews then going to a few shops and talking to people about what I'm looking to buy. It may well be cheaper at getabargain.co.uk but it's no where near as much fun.
I might go to Japan just to buy a few things, white gloves eh!, sounds like my kinda place :)
Latest news is,
Administrators say camera chain Jessops is to close all its 187 stores with the loss of 1,370 jobs.
formerly known as slewis ---
The comment on rates is interesting. The local authority obviously sets business rates by reference to the value of the property, not by reference to the value of the services provided. Not really appropriate unless they consider the value of amazon.co.uk in addition to the warehouse (which still has roads, sewerage infrastructure etc.). Time for a new approach - an empty highstreet yields very few rates...
I have some home cinema and Sonos stuff.
... in Japan. But in the UK? Nigh-on impossible, unless you're a big retailer with a favourable customer profile. If you're John Lewis, and most of your customers are well-heeled and prone to buying things without shopping about, you're laughing. But if you're Argos, it's less funny.
I don't know much about the cost of operating in Japan but I do know about running a small retail business in the UK. If you stock anything that Amazon stocks, you're in trouble. If Play can't compete with them, a small indie shop has very little chance.
Big Aura - Very good point. Landlords are keeping tenants tied-in to expensive, long-term agreements, when they really need to be more keen to allow their tenants to renegotiate. I know of a few shopping centres who are terrified by what's happening, as empty shops multiply at an alarming rate.
The bottom line is that if customers don't see any value in personal contact (via a shop and the rates it pays) then that shop has no value and will therefore disappear. The fault is not with the customer ( how can it ever be?) but with the dinosaur/retailer that goes extinct.
In fact, one could argue that forums such as these, plus the magazine reviews, help to better inform the customer to the point where they feel they can make a buying decision without the need for any shop-based support?
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So far :)
It's obviously not solely the customer's fault, but customers who use shops as showrooms with no intention to buy cost retailers money. Unrealistic expectations of what sort of deal they should get makes them think this is OK. This sort of thing hits independent retailers hard, and is one of the biggest issues at the moment.
Not all retailers who go out of business are dinosaurs. Some just can't compete as it's not a level playing field. Amazon have taken advantage of loopholes which aren't available to most other retailers. The papers are full of people who claim to be boycotting them, it'll be interesting to see if this has any effect. I'm guessing it won't, as people don't often let their principles get in the way of saving a few bob.
This maybe ?
I'm not sure I get your point? That's just one guy's experiences. Amazon recently gave me really poor service on a couple of occasions, that doesn't mean they'll shut down. My local Jessops were fantastic, but they're all out of a job.
I made the point earlier that the demand for lower prices means the shops can't afford to hire better staff. If shops like Jessops had specialist staff they'd offer better service. But there wouldn't be as many customers to serve due to higher prices due to higher wages costs. That's the Catch 22 situation.
The reality is that Jessops sold photographic products, so do Amazon. HMV sell media, so do Amazon.
We used to have five camera shops in town here, now we have one. We used to have four record shops, now we have only HMV. We only have 5% Tax here, but local retailers still can't compete.
To be fair, I would never have gone in to a Jessops store with a question to ask. I went there because of their exchange policy and nothing else. I didn't shop there for about 5 years because of appalling treatment I received, and only recently started going back to buy my Sony 5N as I wasn't sure I would like it and wanted the option to return it.
I wonder how the big hit Canon took will affect their business? Aparently they were owed millions.
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