The UK's biggest photography chain, Jessops, is making a comeback this week with help from business tycoon Peter Jones. After shutting all of its 187 stores and cutting 1,370 jobs in January, The Mirror reports that Jessops' online store will return tomorrow with six retail stores opening in the coming days and plans to open more than 30 next month.
There'll be an Apple influence in Jessops' new stores
As part of its relaunch, Jessops is set to offer a number of former employees their jobs back, hiring around 500 staff to run its stores. The company also hopes to mimic Apple's retail success by introducing new "play tables," where customers can test and compare cameras, and has announced plans to create a Jessops Academy, which will offer one-to-one tuition and the option to reserve and collect online items.
In January, Jones offered hope that the beleaguered retailer would return when Jessops' creditors announced the entrepreneur was part of a group purchasing the brand and assets for a reported £2 million ($3.02 million). Jones — who gained fame for his role in Dragons' Den, the UK version of the ABC show Shark Tank — admits the relaunch is "a huge risk," but has promised to compete with its online rivals, something UK consumers have argued it should have done a long time ago.