Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones is aiming to take on 30 closed Jessops shops after buying the brand out of administration earlier this month.
Jones is understood to be in talks with landlords of 30 closed Jessops shops about re-opening them, giving Jessops a high street presence again. It had been thought that Jones intended to run the Jessops business as an online-only retailer.
Sources told Retail Week he is asking landlords for a “significant reduction” on rents.
The TV star is also demanding break clauses, rent free periods and immediate occupation, it is understood. He is also considering opening pop-up shops.
Some landlords have reacted unfavorably to the list of demands, sources said.
Jessops collapsed into administration in January, as revealed by Retail-week.com. After just two days all stores were closed.
Grocers have also been clamoring to take on former Jessops sites. Morrisons acquired seven last week. It is understood that Tesco and Sainsbury’s are also in discussions to take shops in order to bolster their convenience arms.
Harris+Hoole, the coffee chain in which Tesco has a minority stake, is in the process of taking on five shops.
Retail-week.com revealed yesterday that former Jessops chairman David Adams has returned to the camera market by joining growing specialist Park Cameras as its chairman. Park Cameras has a turnover of £20m and sells online and through a flagship store in Sussex.
Jones could not be reached at the time of writing.
Administrator PwC appointed property agents Prime Retail, Savills, and GCW.