Jessops poaches top marketer from Boots

JessopsJessops, the UK’s biggest specialist photographic retailer, has poached Ian Linnington from Boots.com to be its new marketing director.

Linnington, who starts at Jessops in January, has held a number of positions at Boots both in the UK and overseas. Most recently, he was commercial director for Boots.com and New Channels.

Jessops is repositioning itself as a multi-channel retailer in the face of increasing competition from supermarkets such as Tesco, "e-tailers" and mobile phone retailers selling camera phones. The company has gone through significant management changes in the past 18 months, with Chris Langley, previously chief operating officer, being named chief executive in May and Robin Whitbread becoming commercial director with responsibility for the day-to-day commercial operation, including stores, buying, marketing and developing and printing, in July.

Jessops’ latest full-year results for the year ending September 30, announced today (Thursday), show sales up 6.9% to £350m with gross margin increasing by 1% to 32.9%. Operating profit was ahead 12.3% at £20m and pre-tax profit was £17m compared with £14.8m a year earlier.

Jessops digital camera market share for the 12 months increased to 18.7% from 16.8%. The relaunch of the company’s website helped drive direct sales up by 68.5%, and in the last quarter of the financial year, direct accounted for roughly 10% of total sales.

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