Vision Express has bought 12 stores from optician Crown Eyeglass but just four will stay open bringing its store estate to 331.

The optical retailer plans to close eight of the stores - which are all located in the north west of England - and transfer elements of the stores’ services to nearby existing Vision Express shops. The four remaining stores will be rebranded as Vision Express.

Vision Express added that it will seek to retain the Crown Eyeglass staff within its stores.

Vision Express chief executive Jonathan Lawson said: “This is a very exciting investment for Vision Express and we are looking forward to working with our new teams and welcoming new customers to Vision Express.

“We hope to replicate some of the successes we have had in our existing high street stores and continue to provide more customers with an excellent eye care service, a wider range of products, as well as value for money.”

The value of the deal was undisclosed.