Web combats sluggish high street sales
Digital camera specialist Jessops has revealed sales up 6.8 per cent for the 25 weeks to September 24, driven by sales from the internet and mail order.

Overall, sales rose 3.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis, but online, mail order and telesales like-for-likes rocketed 87.5 per cent. In contrast, like-for-like sales in the 293 high street stores were sluggish and fell back by 1.2 per cent.

The retailer said it anticipates profits for the year to September 30 will be in line with expectations, as management initiatives to enhance gross margin and reduce costs combine to combat challenging trading conditions.

The camera and development and processing (D&P) markets were cited as being softer than expected over the past two months. This has led to a decline in like-for-like sales, although the company stated that its market share has been maintained.

Jessops chief executive Chris Langley said: 'I am pleased that we have continued to deliver in line with expectations, particularly given market conditions that were more challenging than expected.'

He added: 'We expect the present market softness to ease and the total digital camera market to grow in the coming years.'

Jessops finance director John Crabtree is to retire on November 30. He will be replaced by Ian Harris, formerly finance director of the RAC, who will join the company at the end of October.