Jessops reopens stores in UK following collapse

Jessops reopened stores in the UK on Thursday - just two months after the camera chain collapsed.

Jessops reopened stores in the UK on Thursday - just two months after the camera chain collapsed.

Dragons' Den TV star and entrepreneur Peter Jones launched two stores on London's Oxford Street and Birmingham, promising a "change in how we shop".

Four additional stores are opening over the Easter weekend in Manchester, Aberdeen, High Wycombe and St Albans.

Jones acquired the brand when the company went into administration in January with debts of more than £80m, leaving almost 1,500 staff out of work when its 187 stores were closed.

The company was hit by online competition and a boom and camera phones which hit demand for digital cameras.

Jones, a member of a panel of entrepreneurs who evaluate investment proposals on the BBC's Dragons' Den, admits it is a tough time to restart a retailer as disposable income is squeezed in Britain.

Jessops was the first of several chains to fail after Christmas with HMV, Blockbuster and Republic going bust.

Nevertheless, Jones has invested £4.0m in the re-launch of Jessops, which will focus on boosting its online presence to catch up with the growth in internet retailing.

"We've got a real chance of making it a success," he told Sky News.

"The big thing about Jessops is the fact there is not another retailer in the country that has such experienced passionate staff when it comes to camera equipment sales...That makes a big difference."

Jones is the founder of Phones International Group, which he sold a part of in 2011.

RD

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