Jessops camera chain to reopen with Dragon's backing

Peter Jones to open six stores this week, with 30 more throughout April

Jessops

Defunct camera chain Jessops, which shut up shop back in January, is to re-open under the helm of Dragons' Den entrepreneur Peter Jones.

The camera chain, which had struggled in the months prior to its closure went into administration in the new year, with all of the stores closing their doors not long after.

Now however, in a dramatic turnaround, Peter Jones, one of the entrepreneurs from BBC television show Dragons' Den is to take on the role of Chairman and Chief Executive of the brand.

The first six stores will open this Thursday (28th March), with a further 30 opening in April at the rate of one a day. A £4m investment has been made to revitalise the stores, with flagship outlets in Oxford Street and Birmingham - which is the largest photographic imaging store in Europe.

Boost

Re-opening the stores will create up to 500 jobs, with Jessops currently forecasting sales of over £80m in the first year. This would mean that the retailer had roughly 15% of the DSLR camera market in the UK and placing Jessops as one of the top camera retailers in the market.

New features in the stores will include "Play Table" - giving customers the chance to touch and feel products before purchase, the "Jessops Academy", photography courses which can be booked in every store, "Collect @ Store", which is promised to be a greater integration between the Jessops online shop and real world store, and photo printing, with a 25 minute express service and premium printing to canvas and posters within an hour.