Top UK chains: Top of the optical retail tree

Life in optics moves fast, and the past year has seen a number of changes at the top. Some have moved up, some down and many have expanded their reach. Sean Rai-Roche reports on the current retail climate, with a round-up of the top dozen UK chains


When Doug and Dame Mary Perkins, opened the first Specsavers store in Bristol back in 1984, no one quite predicted just how much of an impact the business would have on the profession.

Today, Specsavers is the world’s largest privately owned optical group with more than 2,000 stores operating in 10 countries. Each store is part-owned and managed by its own directors, who are then provided with support services including marketing, accounting, IT and wholesaling.

This year Specsavers is continuing its focus on training all teams in enhanced optical services, with optical and retail teams completing the International Glaucoma Association training modules and more than 1,800 Specsavers optometrists in England achieving the WOPEC (Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre) level 2 accreditation in glaucoma, and a further 650 gaining level 1.

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