Peter Jones to re-open 36 Jessops stores

Former editor, BusinessZone
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Jessops, the photography retailer which collapsed earlier this year and closed all its stores, will re-open its doors on Thursday led by its new owner, Dragons' Den judge Peter Jones.

The technology entrepreneur, who owns 100% of the business, will launch six shops in London, Birmingham, Aberdeen, Manchester, High Wycombe and St Albans before re-opening another 30 in April.

Jones has taken on the role of chairman and chief executive and invested £4m in revitalising Jessops stores.

The re-vamped branches include new features such as 'play tables' giving customers 'an interactive experience' of products, an academy offering photography courses and buy online, collect in store services.

It was believed that Jones originally intended to focus on an online only brand but after being contacted by former employees he decided to push forward with re-opening high street stores.

He will intially create 500 jobs, many of whom are ex-Jessops staff, and forecasts sales of £80m in the first year of trading. This would give the retailer 15% of the DSLR camera market in the UK.

Jones said: "Britain's high street is fighting back - the facts show it, and I am giving my personal commitment to its resurgence by re-opening the doors of one of Britain's most historic retailers.

"I'm taking the helm as chairman and chief Executive because I believe Jessops is an iconic British brand which can lead the retail resurgence on Britain’s high streets, powered by new innovations and world-leading, expert staff.
"Image is everything, and even in the mobile and tablet era, there’s no substitute for a quality camera when it comes to taking the perfect picture. Jessops' hallmark expertise and customer service will now be available again to customers across the UK.
"I'm convinced the great British public will get behind Jessops and look forward to welcoming the first new customers through our doors on Thursday."
Jessops was founded by Frank Jessop in 1935.


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