- Vision Express
Vision Express is one of the four major
UK Opticians (retailers)that control 70% of the British market for spectaclesand contact lenses. [ [http://www.nicklouth.com/spectacles.htm] ] The company's selling point is the availability of glasses in 1 hour at many stores.
The company opened its first store in 1988 at the
MetroCentre. After buying out LensCrafters' UK base, they further increased their number of stores. They had over 220 stores across the UK by 2007. [ [http://www.visionexpress.com/en/freedomofinformation.php] ]
Stores are divided into four types: Optical Lab, Superstores, Franchises (owned entirely by the proprietor but under licence to use the Vision Express name and with some access to Grand Vision services) and Joint Ventures (premises owned entirely by proprietor, but setup cost subsidised by Vision Express).
The first two types of store which provide a one hour service using both semi-finished lenses (prescription being cut from scratch) and stock lenses. The JV stores tend to provide an overnight service also, with some exceptions. A new One Hour On Demand service has recently been introduced to the company, whereby if a customer would like their spectacles back within the hour they pay a £5 express charge, otherwise the job will be ready the next day. This has been brought in to effect to stagger the amount of jobs any one lab would be expected to carry out at one time.
Their headquarters are in
A current refit program within the company is changing from the predominantly white fittings of the Optical Lab to the so called Zana concept, which employs softer lighting with warm browns and oranges.
Takeover by Grand Vision
Grand Vision acquired Vision Express in 1997. [ [http://www.adventinternational.com/GlobalReach/UK/CaseStudy.aspx?PageId=220.127.116.11.1&CaseId=180] ]
The French parent company
Grand Visionhas stores under various brands across Europe, and the rest of the world. Its rivals in UK include Specsavers, Boots Opticiansand Dollond & Aitchison. Under franchise agreement there is a strong Vision Express brand present also in Latvian and Lithuanian markets. These shops were acquired from GrandVision by Latvian entepreneurs of "LU Optometrijas Centrs SIA".
Vision express offers enhanced eye tests for an additional £10 which includes taking a photo of the back of your eye. Though some people have disputed that this should be free, and is of limited utility, the service is not essential and is offered by a limited number of opticians. [ [http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=581215] ]
* [http://www.visionexpress.com/ Vision Express website]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.