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Jessops back in the black

Venerable British photo retailer Jessops has risen Phoenix-like back into profit after its near-death experience less than two years ago.

Entrepreneur Peter Jones proves the death of specialist  photo retailing is greatly exaggerated.
Entrepreneur Peter Jones proves the death of specialist photo retailing is greatly exaggerated.

Founded by Frank Jessop in Leicester in 1935, Jessops went under in January 2013 with debts of around $145 million.

It was acquired by British celebrity businessman Peter Jones (he features in a popular reality TV program, Dragon’s Den) who also cut a deal with German-based photo services group CeWe which enabled the UK arm, CeWe Color, to continue operating.

Jessops recently announced an operating profit to April 2014 of around $500,000 on sales of around $100 million.

Jessops has also announced it will open six new stores during October and November, bringing the total number to 34. (There were 187 stores in the group before its collapse.)

“This is a great result and I’m excited that we’ve been able to restore an iconic British high-street brand,’ said Peter Jones.

‘Our strategy for success is a multi-channel strategy, within which the high street plays a key role. It is all about giving shoppers choice on how to buy: either shop in-store (where they can get hands-on experience), order by phone, shop online 24/7 or benefit from the collect at store service.’

Jessops matches prices across all its retail channels and operates a ‘price match promise’ against leading UK consumer electronics retailers.

Jones also announced a new partnership deal with upmarket grocery chain Sainsbury’s, in which Jessops will launch a ‘store-within-a-store’ at the supermarket chain.

Sainsbury’s customers will also have access to Jessops full range of more than 2000 imaging products via its collect-at-store service.

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