Jespers of Harrogate, a fine writing and stationery store that first opened in central Harrogate in 1901, has announced that new owners will take the firm into a new era.
The company announced on its website: “After 118 years of Jesper family stewardship, 2019 has seen the retirement of the Jesper family from the business and this fabulous Harrogate institution now has new owners at the helm. The Morris and Vickers families are Jespers’ new custodians and they are committed to reinforcing the Jespers ethos and to develop the business to future-proof it for many years to come."
The Yorkshire-based Morris and Vickers families both have generations of experience in a variety of sectors, including stationery. New owner Morgan Morris’s father Alan, for example, has 30 years’ experience in the industry. He owns the Bulldog and Premier Grip brands, both of which will be added to the Jespers product range.
The Harrogate Advertiser interviewed new owner Morgan Morris, who said: “I’ve lived in Harrogate for about 14 years and have shopped in Jespers many times, so I’m delighted to be able to ensure its future.
“Our aim is to keep doing what Jespers have been doing so well for decades. We’re hoping to continue to appeal to their loyal customer base by retaining all the current ranges of fine writing, stationery, gifts, arts and crafts.
“At the same time we’ll be introducing different products to reach new customers as well, particularly a younger audience and people looking for high-quality gifts.”
Former managing director Peter Jesper will return part-time to the business in a consultancy role, offering expertise in fine writing and luxury stationery. Peter Jesper said: “I’m delighted to be involved with Jespers as the company moves forward into a new chapter in its history.
“One of the main joys for me over the years has been the satisfaction of providing a great service, so I’m looking forward to maintaining long-established and valued relationships with Jespers’ customers and suppliers.”
The new owners’ strategy is to maintain current product ranges and introduce new products and expanded ranges sourced from family businesses with a long heritage. An area of the store will be created for children, with a ‘colouring-in corner’ with unicorn-themed stationery from Fourth Wall, books from Usborne and funky stationery from Tinc.