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This article is about the British photographic retailer. For the department store, Jessops of Nottingham, see John Lewis (department store).
Jessops Europe Limited
Private limited company
Industry Retail
Founded Leicester, United Kingdom (1935 (1935))
Founder Frank Jessop
Headquarters Marlow, United Kingdom
Number of locations
31 (2015)[1]
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
Peter Jones
Products Photographic equipment
Photograph processing
Revenue £236.8 million (2011)[2]
£5.7 million (2011)[2]
Owner Peter Jones

Jessops Europe Limited is a British photographic retailing company. It was established in Leicester in 1935, by Frank Jessop, and traded under the name of The Jessop Group Limited. The business entered administration on 9 January 2013, and all 187 Jessops retail stores ceased trading on 11 January 2013, until the British entrepreneur Peter Jones CBE invested several million pounds into the company, and formed Jessops Europe Limited.

Six stores reopened on 28 March 2013, and Jones aimed to open a new store every day on average during April 2013. The relaunch of the Oxford Street store in London received considerable media interest, and was attended by several celebrities, including the actor James Corden. As of 2015, there are 37 high street branches, and since July 2014, Sainsbury's has started rolling out Jessops branches in its larger stores.


Jessops re-opened store in Birmingham

Frank Jessop founded "Jessop of Leicester" in 1935, as a specialist photographic retailer. The company expanded to major towns and cities. Alan Jessop, Frank's son, sold the firm in 1996 in a management buy-out. The 200th store, Durham, opened in July 2001. The store has now closed.

In September 2002, ABN Amro paid £116m for the company.[3] The sale was completed the next month.[4] In October 2004, ABN Amro applied to float on the London Stock Exchange, which successfully occurred the next month.[5] In September 2000, Bridgepoint Capital attempted to float Jessops on the London Stock Exchange, but abandoned plans the following month.[6]

This was because it was told the firm would list, with a market value of £90m to £100m.[7] In April 2002, Jessops again abandoned plans to float.[8] In May 2004, the main warehouse relocated to Weedon Bec, Northamptonshire, as the warehouse in Leicester was considered too small. This resulted in most of the staff being made redundant.

Financial problems[edit]

In 2007, the company suffered financial difficulties requiring a strategic review, and eventually leading to a re-financing with its bankers, HSBC, in September 2009. This led to the group's trade being transferred to a new holding company, Snap Equity Limited, whilst Jessops plc was placed in liquidation and the group's final salary pension scheme transferred to the Pension Protection Fund.

Snap Equity was formed as a private company 48% owned by HSBC, 33% by pension trustees and 20% by an employee trust. On June 21, 2007, Jessops announced the closure of 81 of its then–315 stores, as "part of a strategic review, which aimed to save the Leicester firm £15m."[9]

Administration and closure[edit]

Jessops Group Limited went into administration on 9 January 2013, with an application made to the High Court.[10] On 11 January, it was announced that all 187 stores would close, with the loss of 1,370 jobs. Shoppers who put anywhere up to £500 on a gift card, found them useless[11] and company ceased to accept customer returns although manufacturers' warranties on products not branded by Jessops were not affected.

However, on 31 January 2013, the Jessops brand and various assets were acquired by entrepreneur Peter Jones CBE, one of the investors from the television programme Dragons' Den.[12] On 3 February, the supermarket retailer Morrisons agreed to purchase seven of Jessops larger store sites from the administrators for an undisclosed price, to be converted to Morrisons convenience store format M Local.[13]


The British entrepreneur Peter Jones formed Jessops Europe Limited, and the retailer opened for business on 28 March 2013, and re-launched the high street brand. Two stores in London & Birmingham reopened on 28 March, and Manchester, Aberdeen, High Wycombe & St. Albans opened on 29 March 2013. A further more stores reopened throughout April.[14][15][dated info] Jessops online photo business is also owned by Peter Jones CBE.

By September 2013, the company had opened 28 stores across the United Kingdom. In July 2014, Jessops signed a landmark deal with Sainsbury's. This deal meant more Jessops stores will be opened, in the larger supermarkets across the country.


At the time of its collapse in January 2013, Jessops Group Limited had 187 stores across the United Kingdom. The new business, formed by Peter Jones CBE, Jessops Europe Limited, reopened over 30 stores across the country.

All the stores contain mini labs, that offer one hour processing of photographic film, or an 25-minute "express" service. Jessops' "new" head office is in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.


  1. ^ "Store Finder". Jessops. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Jessops reports rosy picture". Leicester Mercury. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "ABN Amro zooms in to snap up Jessops". 16 September 2002. 
  4. ^ "Jessops chain sold to ABN Amro". 24 October 2002. 
  5. ^ "Jessops to float on stock market". 8 October 2004. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "Newswatch: Jessops ditches float plans". 15 October 2000. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "Newswatch: Jessops ditches float plans". 15 October 2000. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "Jessop pulls yet another float". 28 April 2002. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "Jessops to cut shops and workers". 21 June 2007. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Jessops camera chain in administration". BBC News. 9 January 2013. 
  11. ^ Jessops Employee. "Weathering the Jessops Administration". Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  12. ^ "Jessops brand sold to Peter Jones". BBC News. 31 January 2013. 
  13. ^ "Morrisons buys clutch of Jessops shops". The Daily Telegraph (The Daily Telegraph). 3 February 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  14. ^ "Camera chain Jessops re-opens two months after closing". BBC News. 28 March 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  15. ^ David Risser (28 March 2013). "Jessops Reopens on London's Oxford Street Led by 'Dragons' Star". Bloomberg. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 

External links[edit]