Jessops relocates to former Clinton's shop in Leicester city centre
Photography chain Jessops is to move into the former Clinton Cards store in Gallowtree Gate.
The Braunstone firm is moving its store from Granby Street to the former city centre card shop, which has been empty since the company collapsed earlier this year.
Refurbishment work at the new store is in its final stages ahead of its opening, set for the end of this month.
Shoppers yesterday welcomed the move.
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Jacob Simon, 23, from Hamilton, said: "It looks modern and cool, better than the old card shop and certainly better than lying empty.
"It fits in better with the mobile phone and technology stores in this part of the city centre."
Katy Talbot, 23, from Saffron Lane, Leicester, said: "I'm glad Jessops is at least staying in the city centre.
"Not everybody likes to shop online, especially if you're new to photography.
"I'd like to see the new store be more interactive and perhaps run a few workshops. I think that's customers want these days."
Glyn Dobbs, 66, from Market Harborough, speaking after a visit to the Granby Street shop, said: "With so many other camera shops closing down recently, which is real shame, it's good to see Jessops at least retain its presence on the high street.
"I tend to shop online, but you can't get everything you want, especially if you're buying equipment that's costing you a fortune. It's reassuring to speak to somebody, face to face."
Jessops' marketing director Sean Emmett said the store, due to open on Monday, October 29, would be a new "centre of excellence".
"It's an exciting venture," he said. "Our new centre of excellence store will provide interactivity, where customers can not only touch and feel the cameras, but staff will demonstrate key new features."
According to the latest figures, Leicester's core retail area, as defined by the area within the inner ring road, currently has an 83 per cent occupancy rate.
Jessops' city rival, Cecil Jacobs, closed its store in Granby Street this summer after administrators were called in, while Youngs Cameras, then the oldest high street firm in Leicester, closed its nearby Belvoir Street store in 2010, after opting for voluntary liquidation. Other recent casualties include JJB Sports, which closed its doors in Humberstone Gate this month, and the former Game Station store, in Granby Street.
Sarah Harrison, city centre director, said: "It's great news that Jessops is staying in the city centre.
"Like many, I still prefer to get advice on a new camera or other equipment I'm thinking of buying from trained sales staff, rather than trawling through the internet."
Despite 17 per cent of city centre shops and business premises being empty, Ms Harrison said there was cause for optimism.
She said: "The Lanes is almost at full occupancy and there is the much-anticipated reopening of the Silver Arcade later in the year."