A POPULAR Southampton business has gone into administration.

City Photographic on Bedford Place was set up by keen amateur photographer Roger Butterfield in 1971 – when there were 12 camera shops in the city.

But with the increase in internet sales and the transformation of Bedford Place independent shops have found it increasingly difficult to survive.

Roger, 67, from Lyndhurst said: “The internet and mobile phones are used more and more. There are very few left.

“For a long time it was very successful business with a huge number of very happy customers. Truly a lot of people are genuinely upset. 

"It’s very hard to function as a one off camera shop these days.

“People don’t want to print pictures now. 

"With this type of business it’s all the printing and framing that goes with that. 

"The lab was very strong but it’s not like it used to be. 

"I bought the print lab machine for £120,000 and it sold for £1,500. 

"People tend to store their images on iPads.”

Roger moved to Southampton from Surrey at the age of 19. As well as supplying estate agents with property photography city-wide, his shop was the Daily Echo’s reprint lab for readers’ print orders.

Mark Preston took over the business in 2006 having worked at the shop since the 1980s.

He said: “You’re on Facebook and you can see that Amazon are advertising beer in an hour, or chocolate in an hour – that’s going to be the next thing.

"People want things much more quickly and the small independent shops just can’t keep up.

“In Bedford Place the footfall has changed and dropped away, and the parking doesn’t help either."

Manager of French’s shoe shop Roy Wallbridge has been at Bedford Place for 50 years and said: “It is sad to see them go. When shops like that go then they become charity shops or hairdressers. I’ve counted thirteen hairdressers in this area alone.”

A spokesperson for administrators RSM Restructuring Advisory said: “Due to a general decline in business over the last couple of years the company had become loss making and whilst the director considered other options there was no alternative other than to cease trading and close the store.

"It is always sad and disappointing when a long established business closes and we know the director would like to thank those customers who have supported him.

“Six employees were made redundant and it is unknown what the shop will be used for in the future.”