High street optician Optical Express is to close 40 stores across the UK as it seeks to consolidate its bricks & mortar portfolio, it has been announced.
In a bid to counter the troubles on the high street as a result of the ongoing economic downturn, the group is set to strategically focus its resources on its flagship location and multichannel offering, closing a significant number of units in a bid to sustain its position in the market.
Commenting on the move, David Moulsdale, Chairman and CEO of Optical Express, said:“Most of the locations closing are in tertiary high street locations that have been significantly impacted by markedly reduced trade due to both competition from shopping centres and reduced consumer spending due to the challenging economic climate.”
Earlier this year, rival Vision Express announced that bespectacled celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal had created a range of glasses frames for it, while competitor Specsavers offers a line designed by celebrity stylist Gok Wan and it is hoped that this latest development will strengthen the retailer’s position.
Optical Express said that all patient contracts and pre-paid agreements are set for completion as normal in existing locations and the group noted that no eye surgery clinics will close under the consolidation.
Noting that the company will continue trading from over 100 locations across the country, Mousdale added: “We are now in a position of strength to go forward and grow our business in these tough economic times.”