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George & Matilda reaches 75-practice milestone

02/07/2019By Myles Hume
George & Matilda Eyecare (GME) has partnered with one of the country’s oldest independently owned practices to secure its 75th nationwide store, as the optometry group further asserts itself in Australia’s optometric sector.

A little over three years since its formation, the nation’s so-called fastest growing community of independent optometrists announced Max Astri Optometrists would become the latest practice to join its network.

Mr Max Astri has operated the practice in Dubbo, New South Wales, for the past 42 years, and it is claimed to be one of the most successful in rural Australia. Originally established in the 1890s by a German jeweller and optician, it is one of the oldest independently owned practices in the country.

GME CEO Mr Chris Beer said the latest milestone was indicative of his company’s reputation of adding value to existing, high quality independent optometrists through its strategic marketing, supply chain and business support platforms.

Chris Beer, George & Matilda CEO
Chris Beer, George & Matilda CEO
“We have enjoyed fantastic results at a time when a lot of retail is hurting.”
Chris Beer, GME

“Having someone with the standing of Max trust us to continue and build upon the legacy he’s created is a big honour,” he told Insight.

“We are pleased with where we have got to. Over the past 12 months we have seen the development of our platforms begin to create and drive more value for our partners. We are seeing an acceleration in people wanting to participate with us, which is exciting for the group.”

GME came to the market with a unique business model that allowed its partners to maintain independence while supporting them with back-office needs, as well as significant buying power.

Despite launching in April 2016, GME has already established itself as a major player in the optometry sector, reaching 50 locations by July last year. The addition of Max Astri Optometrists marks its 25th acquisition in the past year alone.

Beer said: “By listening and learning from our partners and understanding what has made them successful to date in their local communities, and then complementing and supporting this by adding strategic marketing, supply chain and business support, we have a winning formula for success.

“This has meant we have enjoyed fantastic results at a time when a lot of retail is hurting.”

Astri said GME’s ability to adapt to the needs of his practice was a key motivator behind the decision to join the group.

“I have been practicing in Dubbo for 42 years and it is very important to me to remain active in the practice and know my business, team and patients will continue to be taken care of in the future as they have in the past,” he said.

“George & Matilda Eyecare spent the time getting to know me and my practice, and so they could understand what makes us special. With the partnership of George & Matilda Eyecare, the team and I will be able to provide continuity of care at the same level we are proud of delivering. I am excited to see what this partnership brings to the next chapter of our practice’s long history.”


More reading:

George & Matilda hit 50 practice milestone
New practices, lens partner for George & Matilda
When Chris met George and Matilda
George & Matilda reach 40 stores


IMAGE CAPTION: Left to right – Nicky, Annika, Jenny, Max, Alec and Holly Astri

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