Optical Express has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators for part of its business as it completes its restructuring programme.
The opticians and glasses retailer, which has been restructuring since 2012, intends to place its DCM Optical Clinic business into administration with plans to buy back 16 of the 19 stores.
Chairman and chief executive David Moulsdale said: “There will be no job losses, no patient disruption and no product trade supplier loss. My board and I have taken this decision to protect our patients, our employees and our suppliers.
“This is the final piece in our restructuring jigsaw and puts us in a position of strength to deliver growth, stability and profitability.”
Sales at the retailer fell 10% to £169m last year, as EBITDA hit £6.2m.
Moulsdale said the completion of the restructuring programme combined with the more “stable landscape” has positioned the retailer for growth.
Since the beginning of the year the group has opened 51 consultation centres, incuding four new treatment clinics as part of its strategy to move away from low return, low value retail locations.
He added: “I believe Optical Express has never been in a stronger position to deliver for our patients, our staff and our supplier base.
“Our patients are interested in one thing and one thing only, as are we – the quality of their eyecare. By opening our new consultation centres and investing in our exceptional people, we can deliver in absolute terms outstanding patient care at our clinical centres.”
Optical Express made the same decision to plunge another of its subsidiaries, which operated 80 stores, into administration in October last year. Optical Express bought back 40 of these stores, while the others closed.
Moulsdale, who founded the retailer in 1991, saved the group from collapse in July when he bought the debt the firm owed to the Royal Bank of Scotland. The debt was understood to be valued at more than £30m. The bank had refused to lend Optical Express any more money.