Specsavers is the world’s largest privately-owned optical retailer. This has been another record breaking year for the Specsavers Group. In the face of increasing competition and a tough economic environment, Specsavers has continued to advance from strength to strength. In 2005 the company vision was to attain 1,000 outlets and £1 billion per year turnover by 2010. Both milestones were reached and passed by early 2008, more than two years earlier than planned. The 1,000th Specsavers business opened (in Roosendaal, The Netherlands) in November 2007 and the £1 billion annual turnover landmark was achieved in February 2008. At the same time, the Group has delivered record levels of profitability for its partners operating across all territories. While consolidating its position in its established markets of the UK, ROI, the Netherlands and Scandinavia, the Group has continued to move into new territories with rapid expansion programmes in Finland and Australia. In the last 12 months, more than 80 new stores have opened throughout all markets and this rate of expansion will increase in the year to come. Notwithstanding this spectacular success, the aspiration to advance the Group further remains strong. The next target is to move from 1,000 to 2,000 stores over the next four years, through further expansion in existing markets, the continuing major drive in Australia and New Zealand and further expansion into new countries across Europe. Such advancement will ensure that Specsavers continues to be at the leading edge of innovation in the optical market and remains the most successful optical brand on the high street. manufacturing and distribution services to a network of independent optometrists in Australia. Following the success of this initial enterprise, the Group acquired 40 Vision Centres and Vision Crest Optometrists in October 2007, to be rebranded and franchised to optometrists. The first ten stores opened as Specsavers Optometrists in February 2008. Expansion into Australia will continue throughout 2008; currently operating with 70 stores, the plan is to have 150 Specsavers Optometrists stores by the end of 2008 as part of a £23 million investment. The Group is actively engaged in research and development relating to further international expansion. The move has recently been made into New Zealand, where the Group has announced plans to open 50 to 60 Specsavers stores over the next two to three years, with the first opening by the end of 2008.
Investment and busIness growth
At the end of February 2008, Specsavers had 1,048 stores, including 911 optical and 137 hearing stores in nine different countries. One in three optical stores and almost one in five hearing stores are located outside the UK. The Group continues to expand in its established markets, ensuring that convenience and exceptional value for money are available to an everincreasing customer base. At the same time, considerable advancement has been achieved in new markets – the Group opened in Finland in July 2007 through the acquisition of part of the optical chain Optigo, to create Specsavers Optikko. The integration of the Tähti Optical Group, acquired in April 2008, will support advancement towards market leadership in Finland. In January 2007 Specsavers opened a 20,000 sq ft distribution warehouse in Port Melbourne, Australia to provide
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Since moving into the UK hearcare market five years ago, Specsavers has grown to become the UK’s leading provider of digital hearing aids. Specsavers now provides more than 25%, and has the highest unit sales, of all privately dispensed hearing aids in the UK. Specsavers Hearing Centres operate as joint venture partnerships, ensuring hearing aid dispensers...