Camera retail chain Jessops to relaunch under leadership of Peter Jones

Fallen camera high street retailer Jessops is making a comeback this week under the stewardship of entrepreneur Peter Jones.

The retail chain will reopen six stores in the next few days, just months after all of its nearly 200 locations were shuttered and more than 1,500 jobs were slashed in January.

Jessops stores are set to re-open in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Aberdeen, High Wycombe and St Albans, and the chain's online retail business will be relaunched. By the end of April, Jones plans to open an additional 30 stores and have a staff of up to 650 or so members.

Jones, best known for his role as an investor on the TV programme Dragons’ Den, bought the struggling chain for £2 million earlier this year. He admits that the move is a “huge risk”, especially as competition from online retailers becomes harder to beat. Despite the obstacles, however, Jones expects to bring in revenues of £80 million in the first year of the relaunch.

The new Jessops model will revolve around Apple-like “play tables” that will let prospective customers test out cameras, compare purchases and create photo albums of their own images.

“I won’t be surprised if Amazon copy a collect-in-store model in a few years,” he told the Mirror. “I hope to rebuild an amazing brand, even though I am aware it’s a huge risk,” Jones added.

Image Credit: Flickr (Paulio!)