Specsavers has reportedly entered the North American market with the acquisition of a Canadian business with 18 practices.
The British multinational confirmed to US ophthalmic publication Vision Monday that it had purchased Image Optometry from its owner Dr Alan Boyco, for an undisclosed sum.
Image Optometry employs 55 people, including a business support team, and operates 10 company-owned and eight franchise stores in and around the Vancouver area of British Columbia.
Founded in 1984, Specsavers is the world’s largest privately owned optometry group, with more than 3,500 optometrists, retail and audiologist joint venture partners who own and operate 2,350 stores, supported by 40,000 store and support office colleagues. It operates in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
The company set up in Australia in 2008 and last year celebrated its 400th store across Australia and New Zealand. Since then, it has announced further locations.
Specsavers chief strategy officer Nigel Parker told Vision Monday: “Like many of our existing markets, such as the UK and Australia, the optometry industry in Canada is a full-scope, highly regulated environment which we are very familiar with, so it was a logical step for us to welcome Image Optometry and its franchisees, colleagues and customers to the Specsavers family.
“We are currently assessing how we can help Image to continue to serve customers in British Columbia to make a positive difference to their lives, and in the meantime it’s very much business as usual.”
Parker said he had known Boyco personally through the industry for many years. Boyco wanted to sell Image Optometry to focus on other business interests, prompting Specsavers to approach him and acquire the business in March.
A spokesperson for Specsavers told Vision Monday there were no plans to expand further in Canada at present.
Boyco said he was pleased the business would now “be in the very safe hands of Specsavers, and the fantastic value for money and great eyecare that Image Optometry provides customers each day will continue into the future”.