Tesco to sell off its 206 opticians to Vision Express

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 20 Apr 2017

National optical retailer Vision Express has announced the acquisition of Tesco Opticians - a move designed to help Tesco simplify its business further.

The acquisition incorporates Tesco Opticians' network of 206 stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland, which will bring the total number of Vision Express outlets to 598. Tesco Opticians employs over 1,500 people and also sells online. Vision Express intends to retain the valued experience of the Tesco optician personnel in all stores.

Tesco opened its first opticians branch in Peterborough in 1999 and last year reported £90 million in sales. The sale is the latest in a wave of new changes for the supermarket, which has seen it shorten opening times in a number of 24-hour Extra stores, scrap its Orchard loyalty scheme and get rid of its free click and collect.

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval by the UK Competition and Markets Authority, is expected to complete later in 2017.

CEO Jonathan Lawson commented: "This is a really exciting time for Vision Express and provides us with the opportunity to invest in the future of the nation's eye health by extending our reach even further across the UK.

"With two million people in our country living with preventable sight loss, this expansion will help us continue to increase awareness of the importance of taking vision seriously.

"We extend a very warm welcome to all Tesco Optician colleagues and customers, and together will ensure we continue to provide them with eye health expertise that is second to none.

"We are committed to providing a personalised customer service and providing a range of products offering excellent quality and value for money."

Tesco confirmed the move was to further simplify its business and serve its shoppers better. The staff affected will be covered by TUPE legislation to transfer into Vision Express following a consultation process.

Commenting on the disposal, Matt Davies UK and ROI CEO, said:"This allows us to further simplify and strengthen our UK business and ensures our customers are still able to enjoy high quality eye care services from Vision Express in our larger stores. Our priority now is to work with our colleagues and support them through this change."

Tesco has also already disposed of its Giraffe restaurant chain, Harris & Hoole cafes, Dobbies garden centres and Turkish Kipa chain under the turnaround project.

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