Camera retailer smoothes its transition from analogue to digital products
Jessops achieved a healthy increase in sales in the run-up to Christmas. However, the retailer experienced some turbulence, while its product mix moved from analogue to digital devices. Total sales for the five weeks to January 2 grew 10.4 per cent, with like-for-like sales increasing 4.5 per cent. The retailer said that the figures reflected the strong demand for digital camera and processing technology. However, analogue processing revenues were down 4.1 per cent.

The retailer said in a statement: 'This change in sales mix has inevitably had a short-term impact on gross margins over the period, but this is not expected to affect the results for the year as a whole. Historically, developing and processing sales have their trading peak over the summer months rather than Christmas.'

Sales at the retailer's online, mail order and telephone arm, Jessops Direct, rose 46 per cent over the five-week period on a like-for-like basis. This part of the retailer's business accounts for 5 per cent of the total sales.

Jessops chief executive Derek Hine said: 'Despite a generally tough retail environment, our trading over Christmas held up well against some very strong growth comparisons, both last year and in 2003. While it remains early days, trading in the first three months [of the current financial year] has maintained the momentum of 2004, with continued evidence of the strong demand for digital products.'