Photography retailer Jessops is to re-open its doors today as entrepreneur Peter Jones launches six stores in one day, it has been announced.
While it had been thought that Jones, who will take on the role of Chairman and CEO of Jessops, would re-launch the retailer as a purely online operation when his purchase was announced last month, the businessman is set to open a further 30 stores by the end of April offering a host of new features and creating up to 500 jobs.
New stores will offer “an interactive experience” allowing uses to touch and trial products prior to purchase as well as a click & collect option as the retailer works to integrate its bricks & mortar and digital operations.
Hoping to entice customers and increase interaction, Jones has launched The Jessops Academy, a photography course available in every store while the retailer also promises the widest range of photography products in Europe.
Jessops called in administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers at the start of the year after a sustained period of poor trading as customers increasingly favoured the digital space, indicative of a wider trend plaguing UK high streets.
But Dragon’s Den star Jones, whose fellow Dragon Theo Paphitis has also invested heavily in the sector, said that the openings mark a new positive chapter for the industry.
“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,” Jones said.
“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.
“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.”