News |London Camera Exchange moves to employee ownership

London Camera Exchange moves to employee ownership

London Camera Exchange moves to employee ownership
News

After last week’s bad news about Jessops, it’s nice to start this week on a high with the announcement that London Camera Exchange is moving to employee ownership as the stores prepare to reopen.

It means that the specialist photographic retail chain will be owned by the 140-strong workforce via Ownership Trust. Further good news is that the company has seen a 32% increase in revenue over the last 10 years in an industry that has seen a consumer market decline of over 70%.

England’s largest chain of independent photographic stores originally planned to move to employee ownership last March but the transition was delayed by the Covid pandemic and it will now be completed at the end of March 2021. After 65 years as a family business, an Employee Ownership Trust has been set up with trustees consisting of employees who will represent the LCE workforce.

London Camera Exchange moves to employee ownership

LCE’s outgoing owner Steve Hall commented, “While the business is breaking direct links with the family of its founders, we are essentially moving to the ownership of the broader London Camera Exchange family. My father was a great believer in people, and this is something that he would have wanted. I am pleased to be able to pass over the business to its loyal employee family in such great shape.”

The current Managing Director, Nick Richens, is overseeing the transition and will become the Chief Executive of the new company, while the current director, Lee Harasyn takes up the role of Managing Director.

London Camera Exchange is a predominately high street bricks and mortar business, which means the initial lockdown period had a significant impact on the company’s revenue. However, the company swiftly moved to online operations and it was able to maintain a healthy level of business throughout 2020.

Once the transition has taken place, shop managers and staff will all continue in their existing roles, but with the greater engagement and commitment that employee ownership brings.

Even more good news is that once non-essential shops are permitted to reopen, London Camera Exchange plans to open a new store in Park Street, Bristol.

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Richard Hearing
Richard Hearing
1 year ago

I have used The London camera exchange to buy all my camera’s lens and bags tripods etc this article just reinforces the way that the company operates, i will visit the store in Colchester again.

Peter Simmonds
Peter Simmonds
1 year ago

I started work with the ‘LCE’, formerly The Camera Exchange, in 1958 at Guildford until 1990 (retired) as managing director. I take great pride in seeing this company survive and prosper and good luck to all the employees and managers in their future. Peter Simmonds

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MARK DAVID THOMAS
MARK DAVID THOMAS
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Simmonds

I worked at London Camera exchange of 20 years at the Bournemouth branch to be precise, Before being made redundant 2010, I can still truly say it was a great company to work for, all the best to those who are there, with their new adventure

Luke G
Luke G
1 year ago

Great company, great staff, great management. Wish them all the best -I only worked in a store for a year due to moving on to Teaching but it was a great job and a lesson in how a company should be run. The best people for camera gear.

carl daniel
carl daniel
1 year ago

LCE at Chichester is fantastic store. Brilliant staff.

Paul French
1 year ago

This is a great progression for the business and the industry