A background to Specsavers

A snapshot view of Specsavers global numbers for 2020/21
A snapshot view of Specsavers global numbers for 2020/21

Specsavers is the world’s largest optometry-led business and was founded almost 40 years ago in the UK by optometrist husband and wife team, Doug and Mary Perkins. It was from there that they opened the very first Specsavers store, on Bristol’s Bond Street, on February 14, 1984.

That store has since been joined by more than 2,300 Specsavers businesses in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Australia and New Zealand – and now Canada. From just two eye care professionals with a powerful vision, there are now well over 35,250 colleagues working within the Specsavers Partnership around the world looking after the eye health of more than 41 million people. All Specsavers stores remain owner-operated under our super supportive franchise model.

Back in 1984, Doug and Mary could see that while many ambitious eye care professionals wanted to start their own businesses, they were looking for levels of support not readily available in the industry; they wanted to be part of something bigger to benefit from economies of scale, but they also wanted to avoid many of the administrative, marketing and compliance headaches associated with running a small business.

Building on this knowledge, the renowned Specsavers business ownership model took shape. It was designed specifically to help business owners with product supply and marketing, with back-office systems, tax, finance, accounts, and payroll. It helped them with training and development, systemized care, clinical advancement and so much more. Almost four decades of continuous improvement have followed.

Today the Specsavers Partnership is the world’s largest private optometry group and the clear market leader in eight of the 10 countries in which we operate. We can point to world-beating detection and referral rates for glaucoma and diabetic eye disease. We move at pace and embrace eye care professionals who share our can-do attitude and passion for customer service excellence. We have innovated as a retailer to connect with local communities – with a typical brand recognition rate of over 90% in each of our markets.

And now, in Canada, we’re looking forward to doing it all over again, to build on our history and develop a local Specsavers brand with a Canadian accent – one that delivers accessible and affordable eye care in local communities right across the nation.

Contact us anytime to find out more about our plans for BC and beyond – and how our super-support business ownership model works for optometrists, opticians and retail managers.

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