LCE is a small store situated in Plymouth’s so called independent quarter.
On the whole I find the staff knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the products they deal with. However I feel that the shop’s stock level is a little on the low side, with little in the way of range to compare or contrast.
Second hand prices are generally good, but again rather limited in choice. With the shrinkage of Jessops’ profile in the city, I feel that LCE could have capitalised on that situation. Frankfort Gate is a little like a forgotten and desolate area of Plymouth, being home to mainly independent shops. There are plans apparently to regenerate the area, but when, who knows?
I don’t know whether or not it was just my choice of day or time to visit Mifsuds, but the journey, although quite straightforward from Plymouth, took a definite downturn on approach to Brixham and I was almost tempted to turn back, whilst keeping an eye on my car’s water temperature. I persevered and was rewarded with a veritable Aladdin's cave of new and used gear (kid and candy-store springs to mind).
I only encountered one of the staff members, who was both knowledgeable, and affable. I was able to freely look around the shop without being pounced on, in fact I had to approach the staff-member for assistance. My only criticism, other than car unfriendliness, was that all prices are on the Internet and not labelled on or near the product.
My advice, if you decide to visit, take a current copy of Amateur Photographer with you so that you can look up prices. I enjoyed my short visit and even bought an ex-demo head for my Manfrotto tripod; it takes something for me to part with my cash!
27 - 29 Bolton Street
South Devon TQ5 9BZ
All views expressed are those of the reviewer, who enters establishments as a customer.
It seems a great pity that a town the size of Plymouth does not benefit from the serious attention of large chains such as Jessops. Their branch in the city is small and seems rather impersonal, to me at least. Granted the branch has access to Jessop’s stock warehouse, but it appears as if there is too little of it displayed in store.
There was a time when Jessops did part-exchange deals and this resulted in much more to look at and bargain over. Unfortunately in the company’s wisdom, it decided that there was no place for secondhand equipment in its business model; I believe the company is missing a trick here and in effect pushing potential customers in the direction of its competitors. Possibly a reason could be that it is far easier to sell a piece equipment from its box than it is to rely upon knowledge of different cameras and lenses that may not be current. There are pitfalls to buying and trading pre-used gear, but it certainly doesn’t prevent people keenly using Ebay.
102 Cornwall Street