Tesco is selling its opticians business in the UK and Ireland to leading optical specialist, Vision Express.
Over 200 stores affected
206 stores across the UK and three in the Republic of Ireland will be transferred to Vision Express as a result of the change of ownership, as well as Tesco's online optical business. In total 1,500 staff are affected by the disposal, all of whom will by covered by TUPE legislation to transfer to Vision Express following a consultation process. The deal is subject to regulatory approval from the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK.
Simplifying the UK business
Commenting on the disposal, UK 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."
Disposing of non-core businesses
The sale of Tesco Opticians is the latest in string of disposals of non-core business, in a drive to cut debt and restore the group's focus on food retailing. In 2016/17 offloaded business included coffee shop chain Harris + Hoole, Giraffe restaurants and Kipa, Tesco's Turkish business. Tesco has at the same time made promising progress in bringing in third party retailers to take surplus space at larger stores, including Arcadia, Holland Barrett, TK Maxx, H&M and Decathlon. For full analysis of Tesco's annual results visit our new Trading with Tesco insight presentation.
Vision Express should drive footfall for Tesco
Vision Express is one of the largest optical retailers in the UK and adding Tesco Opticians stores to its portfolio will transform its scale. It currently operates 389 stores in the UK and seven in Ireland, having grown quickly since opening its first store in Newcastle in 1988. Since 1997 Vision Express has been part of Netherlands headquartered GrandVision group which operates over 6,000 stores in 44 countries.
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