Grant Thornton helps camera retailer Henry's restructure

11 August 2020 2 min. read

Grant Thornton has helped Henry’s, a Toronto-based camera retailer, successfully complete a strategic restructuring.

Henry’s filed for creditor protection in May 2020 after being severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The firm tapped accounting and consulting firm Grant Thornton to act as its insolvency trustee.

Grant Thornton announced court approval for Henry’s Enterprises Inc. to acquire substantially all assets of the company from Cranbrook Glen Enterprises. The Stein family, which has owned Henry’s since its founding in 1909, will retain ownership under the arrangement.

"We are delighted to receive court approval for the acquisition of the company's assets by Henry's Enterprises Inc.,” said Gillian Stein, CEO, Henry's Enterprises Inc. “With the ongoing support of the Bank of Montreal and Grant Thornton, we are in a strong position to continue to serve the creative community for the long term, as a successful market leader. Most importantly, we were able to save important Canadian jobs and keep Henry's a Canadian, family owned business.”

Grant Thornton helps camera retailer Henry’s restructure

The company said that all executive management and the CEO will remain in place and continue to manage the firm’s retail locations,, and its B2B division.

Henry’s in May permanently closed seven of its 29 retail location across Canada. The firm plans to refocus efforts on e-commerce and its 22 remaining stores.

The company will have a difficult road ahead, however. Professional photographers, who form an important part of Henry’s clientele, have been severely impacted by the destruction of the events industry. Casual photographers and consumers, meanwhile, will inevitably pull back discretionary spending as the economy slumps, and simply rely on their smartphones.

On the e-commerce side, cameras and accessories are a relatively easy-to-sell product for Amazon, while used cameras can be had on eBay. The waning of its retail locations, which offer the opportunity to try out equipment and inspect used models – while tapping into the expertise of knowledgeable associates – could prove too much of a challenge to the company’s long-term fortunes in the pandemic-fueled retailer reckoning.

Omnichannel strategy cannot afford salvation to every applicant, especially when consumers switch to price concerns above all else (if they even choose to purchase the product in the “new normal”). The end result is probably the same as it has been for the last decade – Amazon wins.