London Camera Exchange moves to employee ownership

After final week’s dangerous information about Jessops, it’s good to begin this week on a excessive with the announcement that London Camera Exchange is transferring to employee ownership because the shops put together to reopen.

It implies that the specialist photographic retail chain shall be owned by the 140-strong workforce through Ownership Trust. Further excellent news is that the corporate has seen a 32% enhance in income over the past 10 years in an business that has seen a client market decline of over 70%.

England’s largest chain of impartial photographic shops initially deliberate to transfer to employee ownership final March however the transition was delayed by the Covid pandemic and it’ll now be accomplished on the finish of March 2021. After 65 years as a household enterprise, an Employee Ownership Trust has been arrange with trustees consisting of workers who will signify the LCE workforce.

LCE’s outgoing proprietor Steve Hall commented, “While the enterprise is breaking direct hyperlinks with the household of its founders, we’re primarily transferring to the ownership of the broader London Camera Exchange household. My father was an incredible believer in folks, and that is one thing that he would have wished. I’m happy to find a way to go over the enterprise to its loyal employee household in such nice form.”

The present Managing Director, Nick Richens, is overseeing the transition and can turn out to be the Chief Executive of the brand new firm, whereas the present director, Lee Harasyn takes up the function of Managing Director.

London Camera Exchange is a predominately excessive avenue bricks and mortar enterprise, which suggests the preliminary lockdown interval had a major influence on the corporate’s income. However, the corporate swiftly moved to on-line operations and it was in a position to preserve a wholesome stage of enterprise all through 2020.

Once the transition has taken place, store managers and workers will all proceed of their current roles, however with the higher engagement and dedication that employee ownership brings.

Even extra excellent news is that after non-essential retailers are permitted to reopen, London Camera Exchange plans to open a brand new retailer in Park Street, Bristol.

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