Jessops is today celebrating the opening of its new store in Leicester, marking a historic return home for a business first set up as a mail-order company in 1935.
Above: Customers form an orderly queue outside the new Leicester store. Below: the original shop
The new outlet, at Highcross shopping centre, is Jessops’ 53rd shop and will initially employ 10 staff.
Jessops chairman Peter Jones, who rescued the chain in 2013, said: ‘Restoring this iconic brand and bringing it back to its hometown was always one of our goals and we are delighted with the warm welcome from customers old and new in Leicester.’
Today’s opening is timely as it coincides with the date in 1839 when the daguerreotype process was officially revealed to the world. World Photo Day encourages photographers to share their images in an online gallery.
Jones added: ‘The Jessops story has been an amazing one. I knew before I acquired the business that it wouldn’t be plain sailing, especially when trying to bring a business back from the brink, but I always felt that a new chapter in Jessops’ long history would be a positive one.
‘In just three years since I acquired the business we have doubled our number of stores – proving there is still plenty of potential for growth and job creation on the high street.
‘The next 12 months will continue to be an exciting time for Jessops as we plan to open new stores in key locations.
‘Leicester is on the global map now, thanks to its premier league title success – and Jessops is proud to be opening here once again.’
Retail director Scott Worger said: ‘The new shop in Highcross Leicester is an excellent example of how we work closely with our retail partners to bring an outstanding service to shoppers.
‘A return to the city has been on the cards for some time, and now we can be confident the execution is just right – thanks to [the] prime footfall location and a team of ten passionate and professional staff that truly are the best in the area.’
The store occupies a space of 1,880 sq ft and will provide Jessops Academy courses, alongside photography products and printing services.
In January 2013, Jessops was forced to close all 187 of its stores when it went into administration under previous owners.