All of them to some extent were hamstrung by the changing world in which we live. High street premises and staffing the stores must have been huge costs to their respective businesses.

The question that they appear to have failed to answer was how do they compete in a world where the products they sold can be ordered online, delivered to the buyer’s home the next day and usually at a lower price than available in store?

Both offered the tangible benefits of being able to see and touch the products, but this was just not enough for the modern consumer with money burning a hole in their pockets available for discretionary spend.

Article continues after advert

Jessops fell into a trap that is wide open to many of us. They decided that they could provide advice without charging for it. They provided this advice in the expectation that the consumer would buy the product from them. Possibly they did not realise that the advice was worth paying for and the product was simply a commodity.

In the case of HMV younger people don’t buy CDs and, even if they do, they know the shop they want to go to and it is called Amazon, which benefits from none of the high street costs or even that pesky UK corporation tax.

There is a real risk that the financial intermediary might go the way of Jessops or HMV. If they give advice away and expect to make profit from the sale of a financial product they may just find that someone else may be eating their lunch.