Dragons’ Den’s Peter Jones pins £80m Jessops hopes on store innovations

New CEO and chairman Jones expects ‘bricks and clicks’ vision to turn around fortunes of rescued photography store

Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Peter Jones today relaunched failing photography retailer Jessops, with a clear online strategy and store innovations predicted to pull in £80m sales.

The serial entrepreneur has taken over as CEO and chairman of the brand, following the demise of the store in January, which saw 187 stores closed as Jessops went into administration, shortly before music retail chain HMV followed suit.

The brand, which was first launched by Frank Jessop in 1935, has since been boosted by a £4m investment from Jones, who is re-opening six stores today.

With plans to open one store a day across April, Jones is predicting sales of £80m for Jessops this year.

Jones is hopeful that the relaunch will see Jessops return as one of the top three players in the photography industry, with new stores including interactive play tables to allow customers to try before they buy, as well as providing the option of photography courses for customers via its Jessops Academy.

There will be a 25 minute express printing service and canvases and posters printed within the hour. Online customers will also be able to pick up in store with Jones promising greater online and offline integration.

The founder of Phones International Group, which he sold a stake in for £38m in 2011, said Jessops’ reputation for highly-trained sales assistants and customer service will remain key to its revival. He commented on the relaunch: “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.”

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