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Jessops to relaunch online only with backing from Dragons’ Den’s Peter Jones

UK camera retailer Jessops is set to re-launch as an online-only business, thanks to backing from Dragons’ Den’s Peter Jones and others.

The pinch became too much for the high street retailer, which shut all 187 of its stores across the UK in January. It was the first retailer to enter administration in 2013, closely followed by HMV and Blockbuster.

A month later and investment has been found for the brand, which was founded in 1935 by Mr Frank Jessop. Various areas and aspects of the business have since been picked up by various investors, with the biggest name being Peter Jones of Dragons’ Den fame. Jones also has a big part to play in UK online tech retailer Expansys.

A visit to now will give you a promising banner promising a new website that’s “launching soon”. There’s also a link to Jessops Photo, the business that allows customers to get their digital snaps professionally printed, which is still open for business thanks to help from CeWe, a company which has played a big part in Jessops’ print services for the past 5 years.

Is there a place for an online camera shop in this day and age? We feel that many of the average camera buyer, not in the loop when it comes to the latest cameras and features, would rather pick up and hold a camera, as well as receive face-to-face help from a friendly assistant.

On the other side of the coin however, is the experienced camera user who already knows what they want. An online retailer has less overheads and can therefore offer lower prices, and so Jessops could do well undercutting the high street prices with high-end kit.

Would you buy your next camera online, or would you prefer to get hands-on before you buy?