Amplifon, the Italian retailer and distributor of hearing aids and related services, is to start rebranding its 147 UK stores this week.

The group, which operates in Europe and North America, acquired several UK hearing aid retailers and centres in 2006 and now aims to bring the chains under its global banner.

The stores, which operate under the Amplivox + Ultratone, Sietech and Hearing Health fascias, will all be rebranded by August. The branding will follow the group’s design in Italy.

“Pulling together the different fascias in the UK means we can effectively market the centres while they maintain their independent feel,” said Amplifon UK brand director Marc Holmes.

“It also means we can centralise our back-office functions to create efficiencies in the business and focus on growth.”

Amplifon UK also has a “healthy” store opening programme for this year, according to Holmes.

The move will allow it to rival opticians Specsavers’ hearing aid services. Alongside opticians, Specsavers has nearly 100 stores providing hearing services in the UK and plans to double this number this year.