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George & Matilda hit 50 practice milestone

11/07/2018By Matthew Woodley • Staff Journalist
The recent acquisition of three practices in NSW and Victoria has seen George & Matilda Eyecare reach 50 locations nationally, just over two years after the business was formed.

The recent acquisition of three practices in NSW and Victoria has seen George & Matilda Eyecare reach 50 locations nationally, just over two years after the business was formed.

Company CEO Mr Chris Beer said George & Matilda’s strategy of partnering with independent practices that have strong customer loyalty was working, and that further expansion was on the horizon.

“We work in partnership with each practice, meaning they continue to manage their businesses while we bring to the table the latest and best-available technology, buying power and supply chain support,” he said.

“This combination means, as a much larger community, our investment allows partners to continue to grow with access to tools like data analytics, targeted marketing and improved buying access while maintaining their independence, something we fully support.”

While the establishment of the new business was announced in April 2016, the first George & Matilda practice wasn’t opened until October, with the company reaching 40 locations by November 2017 when Evian Eyecare joined the group.


We only want to be in the middle and the upper-end of the marketplace and we also wanted to be very clear on where we could add value and win.”
Chris Beer, George & Matilda

According to Beer, attaining 50 practices in less than two years is an indication of its commitment to the independence of its partners, while sourcing premium eyecare technologies and clinicians helped George & Matilda to rapidly establish itself in the market.

“We want to position the George & Matilda brand in a premium eyecare perspective. We only want to be in the middle and the upper-end of the marketplace and we also wanted to be very clear on where we could add value and win in the marketplace,” he told Insight.

“So we can’t own brands, that would be disingenuous, when there is someone who already owns brands. We don’t want to be cheap and cheerful, someone is really good at that and that’s not who we want to be.

“But our approach is resonating amongst independent practices. Our partners know they are being supported by a fully-funded business which continues to invest in quality and growth.”

The company announced Zeiss as its preferred lens partner last November and Beer said an important factor in the decision to work with Zeiss was the manufacturer’s ability to provide comprehensive lens education and training across the George & Matilda network.

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“Although we have a key relationship with one lens company we have also been building very deep and meaningful relationships right across the wholesale market in frames, sunglasses and contact lenses suppliers,” Beer said.

He added that while George & Matilda’s expansion will likely continue at pace, Beer said the business would remain selective about who it will partner with.

“For us, the most important part of building a partnership is alignment with our values,” he said.

“We are investing a significant amount to ensure this is the case before committing to partner with someone, as this is critical to all our success.”

More reading:

• When Chris met George and Matilda
• New optical group secures major exclusive lens partner
• Two new acquisitions for George & Matilda
• More expansion for branded optometry chains
• George & Matilda reach 40 stores

 

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