This photograph of the Cambridge branch of Jessops on its last trading day is rather melancholy, given that this particular high street chain was synonymous with photography for millions of Britons for so many years. Two things did for it — the switch from film to digital; and the rise of online retailing and especially Amazon. In the end, Jessops shops were reduced to serving essentially as places where consumers could see and handle cameras which they would then go out and buy from Amazon. With hindsight, perhaps the chain could have turned this from a problem into an opportunity — in the way, for example, that the John Lewis chain has. But for that to have happened, the management would have had to appreciate the importance of making the switch “from place to space” in the late 1990s. Like many bricks-n-mortar retailers, they didn’t. Pity.
LATER: Good post “The High Street is Dying. Did the Internet Kill It? No, it took its own life”. HT to Magnus Ramage for the link.