Jessops has opened its ‘next-generation’ flagship store, at a shopping centre in Reading, Berkshire.

The store, on two levels, includes a Jessops Academy training room offering a variety of photography courses. It also houses a gallery.

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Jessops’ chief operating officer Neil Old said: ‘The opening of our new flagship store really does shine a light on our commitment to our customers’ experience in-store.

‘With its innovative design and state-of-the-art equipment, coupled with services such as printing, camera trade-in, equipment rental and a wide range of photography courses – all delivered by our expert, friendly staff – means we are able to offer everything our customers could possibly need, in a completely unique and exciting environment.

‘We’re looking forward to welcoming the people of Reading into our beautiful new store, which brings to life our ethos of “image is everything”.’

The Reading store, based at the Oracle shopping centre, has become the first Jessops outlet to sell Leica cameras, as part of a new deal with the famous camera maker.

It takes the current number of Jessops shops to 31.

The Academy training room is situated on the mezzanine level, while a Fujifilm Frontier minilab is located on the ground floor.

Jessops returned to profit in its first full-year of trading since it was taken over by Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Peter Jones last year.

The chain, which collapsed under its former owners in January 2013 closing all of its 187 shops, recently reported an operating profit of £280,000 on sales of more than £56m for the year to 30 April.

Start-up costs meant Jessops made a loss of £2.1m for the 15 months to 30 April 2014. The retailer said this was due to the ‘significant investment necessary to re-establish a nationwide retail business’.

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