Signet Armorlite's European operations have opened an optical practice and training center at their headquarters in Gloucester, England. Signet, which recently fell under the ownership of Essilor International, says the new facility, called the Kodak Lens Vision Center (KLVC) Training Center of Excellence and Designer Retail, was set up to help provide training and assist independent optical shops compete in the market. New sales opportunities and marketing initiatives will be tested at the center, and the measurable results will be available to optical practices. Signet points out that British independent opticians are currently facing tough competition from the likes of Tesco, which just opened two practices in Gloucester. The training center could also be the testing ground for new services, such as a tie-up with Siemens for hearing aids. The project was almost five years in the making. At the moment, more than 1,300 frames are offered at the center, with glasses available from £29 (€34.15-$45.50).