Jessops Birmingham Temple Row

Picture credit: Damien Demolder

Jessops is offering customers more than 300 cameras and lenses to ?touch-and-try? at its first Centre of Excellence store which opened this week.

The high-street retailer claims that its revamped 4000-square-foot outlet, at Birmingham?s Temple Row, is the largest specialist camera store in the country, with ?shops within a shop? for brands such as Canon, Nikon and Sony.

Working under the banner ?Advice for Life? ? which was announced last year – Jessops chief executive Trevor Moore told AP that customers will leave the store having received enough training on their purchase for them to use it straight away.

?When you come into the store you are free to wander around and to pick up the products on display to try them for yourself?, he said.

?You can then go to the one-on-one area for a personal demonstration, and when you buy the product you will be talked through the settings and menus and leave the store with your camera loaded and ready to go.?

Jessops Birmingham Temple Row

Picture credit: Damien Demolder

Customers can come back for more advice at any time, according to marketing director, Sean Emmett, even with cameras that were not bought from Jessops.

?We want people to come in to the store to see what we have to offer, and our staff are happy to give advice and make suggestions wherever the camera came from.

?We think that once customers see how dedicated we are to photography they will want to come again.?

Echoing the layout of Jessops? flagship outlet in New Oxford Street, London, the Birmingham shop is designed much along the lines of an Apple Store.

Customers are encouraged to pick up products to try them out for themselves. The company has 44 models of DSLR for use, along with 61 lenses, 105 compact cameras, 17 compact system cameras and other gear such as camcorders.

Specially trained staff are available and customers can shoot and view their photos on in-store screens to assess image quality before they buy.

Like Apple?s Knowledge Bar, there is an area where customers can have their cameras set up, have questions answered and get advice on accessories and system extras.

Jessops has acquired a reputation for employing staff that do not have the knowledge needed to deliver the level of specialist advice enthusiasts require, but CEO Moore claimed those problems are behind them.

He said the company put in over 60,000 hours of staff training last year alone.

Sam Thurlow, Jessop?s head of hardware buying, told AP that over a three-week period last year 400 staff were given intensive training on compact system cameras.

The company is also due to open a Centre of Excellence in Manchester within the next six months.

Jessops management team

Left to right: Sean Emmett (Marketing & ECommerce Director), Nik Sinclair (Store Manager), Chris Yates (Retail Director), Sarah Kenney (Sales Floor Manager), Trevor Moore (CEO), David Adams (Chairman), Jo Boydell (Finance Director), Andy Hannan (Trading Director) & Ian Warwick (Business Development Director)

Picture credit: Damien Demolder