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Tesco to divest in-store opticians business to Vision Express

RBR Staff Writer Published 20 April 2017

Tesco has agreed to divest its in-store opticians business in the UK and Republic of Ireland to optical retailer Vision Express for an undisclosed price.

The sale of Tesco Opticians will further streamline the UK retailer's operations and serve its customers better.

Tesco Opticians presently has 206 stores in the UK and three in the Republic of Ireland, along with online business. In 2016, Tesco Opticians earned revenues of around £90m.

Tesco UK and ROI CEO Matt Davies 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 Opticians has a workforce of around 1,500 employees. According to Tesco, all the employees are covered by TUPE legislation to transfer into Vision Express after a consultation process.

Vision Express plans to retain the Tesco Opticians personnel currently employed across all stores.

The acquisition would result in the incorporation of the 209 Tesco’s optical stores which in turn expand the total number of outlets of Vision Express to 598 across the UK and Ireland.

Vision Express CEO Jonathan Lawson said: “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 Opticians 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.”

Completion of the Tesco Opticians sale which is expected later this year is based on receipt of regulatory approval from the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK.


Image: Vision Express announces acquisition of Tesco Opticians. Photo: courtesy of Vision Express.