Jessops ‘Europe’ joins Dragon’s online and retail enterprises
February 26, 2013
Companies House documents confirm the Buckinghamshire-based entrepreneur as a director of Jessops Europe Limited, Jessops Retail Limited and Jessops Online Limited, all set up last month after Jones and other parties bought the Jessops name.
Meanwhile, it is more than a fortnight since Amateur Photographer (AP) reported that Jessops’ online business was set to make a comeback.
The Jessops website continues to state that the site will be relaunched soon, urging customers to register their email address for online updates.
To date though, no updates have been issued.
Last week, Jones met Canon UK at the camera maker’s European headquarters in Middlesex.
Canon yesterday declined to comment on the outcome of the discussions.
Last month there was speculation that Jones may be set to re-open up to 30 Jessops stores and that music retailer HMV – which also went into administration in January – may play host to mini-Jessops shops.
The reported HMV link was fuelled by news that retail restructuring specialist Hilco, which took control of HMV by acquiring its debt, also had a hand in the Jessops brand buyout. Hilco had originally been thought to be the frontrunner in the Jessops deal.
But it appears that Hilco may no longer have any interest in the affairs of Jessops, even though Jessops’ administrator, PwC, said Hilco had played a role in the brand buyout with Peter Jones on 31 January.
Hilco’s chief operating officer Andrew Pepper is listed at Companies House as a director of ‘HUK 37′, an outfit formed on 25 January as the forerunner to Jessops Data Limited, alongside fellow director Peter Jones. Jessops’ customer database is set to be transferred to Jessops Data Limited.
However, Pepper’s directorship ended on 18 February, a fortnight after HUK 37 changed its name to Jessops Data Limited, and 11 days after HMV announced it was set to close 66 stores. Two days later HMV said it would shut down a further 37 shops.
Hilco had yet to respond to a request for comment at the time of writing.
Peter Jones, who appears in BBC TV series Dragons’ Den, has so far remained tight-lipped – publicly at least – on his plans for the future of the Jessops brand.
He has yet to respond to interview requests since acquiring the Jessops name.
Dragon in Alan Jessop phone call
Amateur Photographer can reveal that Peter Jones has made his first contact with the Jessop family since the chain closed all of its 187 stores after falling into administration on 9 January.
Jones telephoned Alan Jessop – who retired from Jessops 16 years ago – thanks to AP which was given permission to pass on Alan’s contact details after a request from the office of the multimillionaire last Thursday.
Earlier that day, Jessop had told AP in an interview that he welcomed the buyout of the family name – even if it may only survive as an online retailer.
Speaking to AP after his conversation with Jones, Jessop said the pair chatted about the ‘old Jessops days’, as well as recent developments.