JOBS are at risk in Portsmouth, Fareham and Chichester as Jessops goes into administration.
PriceWaterhouseCoppers has been appointed as administrator to the camera retailer, which is partly owned by HSBC, and has 200 stores employing 2,000 staff.
Jessops’ administration marks the first high-profile retail collapse of 2013 and comes soon after consumer electricals chain Comet hit the wall, sparking more than 6,000 job losses.
Jessops, which has its headquarters in Leicester, has suffered in recent years from online competition and the boom in camera phones, which has hit demand for digital cameras.
It narrowly avoided administration three years ago, but was forced to close a number of its shops, including its outlet in Petersfield.
But it kept its shops in Arundel Street, Portsmouth and in Fareham Shopping Centre, which could be two of the ‘inevitable’ closures if a buyer for the retailer cannot be found.
Trading will continue but Jessops will not now be honouring gift vouchers or returns.
PwC administrator Rob Hunt said: ‘Over the last few days the directors, funders and key suppliers have been in discussions as regards additional consensual financial support for the business.
‘However these discussions have not been successful.
‘Our most pressing task is to review the company’s financial position and hold discussions with its principal stakeholders to see if the business can be preserved.’