Vision Express has acquired 65 stores from Optical Group Rayner & Keeler Opticians as it looks to grow its market share after consistently strong trading.
Vision Express will rebrand 38 of the stores, which trade under a variety of brands including Lancaster and Thorpe and Rayner Opticians, to Vision Express. The stores will continue to operate from their existing locations with their current teams.
It takes the retailer’s store estate in the UK and Ireland to 367.
The remaining 27 stores will close and transfer their optical services to nearby Vision Express stores. The retailer said it will try to retain the teams in these stores.
The acquisition comes after Vision Express bought 12 stores from Crown Eyeglass in May 2013, although it kept just four trading.
Vision Express chief executive Jonathan Lawson said: “This is a very exciting time. The Vision Express brand and business has been performing strongly for the last three years. Therefore it is timely that we seek opportunities in the right location, to increase our market share and bring the Vision Express experience to our new customers.”
Lawson added that the deal is likely to be the “largest single spike” in stores this year but it has plans to open more single sites in 2014.
In its latest figures for the year ending December 31, 2012 Vision Express generated a 6% jump in operating profit to £16.4m. Revenue increased 3% to £248m.