Dragon’s deal will see Jessops reopen in arc

Jessops in Bury ST Edmunds is to reopen
Jessops in Bury ST Edmunds is to reopen
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Camera retailer Jessops is to reopen and revamp its store in the arc shopping centre, Bury St Edmunds.

A deal was finalised on Tuesday, putting the shop in Bury among around 30 nationwide to be revived by a £4 million investment from Dragon Den star Peter Jones.

The store will have ‘play tables’ where customers will be able to try products before they buy and will offer a photo printing service, expert assistance, photography courses and a collect-at-store option for those buying online.

Mr Jones said: “Britain’s high street is fighting back –the facts show it, and I am giving my personal commitment to its resurgence by reopening the doors of one of Britain’s most historic retailers.

“I’m taking the helm as chairman and chief executive because I believe Jessops is an iconic British brand which can lead the retail resurgence on Britain’s high streets, powered by new innovations and world-leading, expert staff.

“Image is everything, and even in the mobile and tablet era, there’s no substitute for a quality camera when it comes to taking the perfect picture.”

Colin Roberts, arc centre manager, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Jessops back to arc. They had not been with us for very long before the company went into administration but the sales results in the store had been very good and was enough to convince the new owners that arc and Bury St Edmunds were a place they wanted to trade.

“As we understand it there are only around 30 stores which have been selected by the new company. The fact they have chosen us to be one of them shows great confidence in arc and the town as an attractive place in which to do business.

“We look forward to welcoming the new team and wish them well for the future.”

Mr Roberts said an opening date was still ‘a little unclear’ but, with the unit ready to go, all that was needed was to move new stock in.

“My guess is Saturday, but that is still to be confirmed,” he said.

Mark Cordell, chief executive of town improvement organisation Bid4Bury, said: “It’s great news that this newly created company has chosen Bury for one of its new stores, which is a real compliment to the health of the town centre.

“It’s also doubly important to have one of the units in the arc that face on to St Andrew’s Street South occupied again, as empty units can have such a detrimental impact upon the appearance of any town.

“The business was in this location for such a small period of time in late 2012 but I know the feedback from customers was very positive in regards of products and the staff, so lets hope some of them will be re-employed.”