Vision Express has acquired 65 stores from Rayner Opticians, representing 62 percent of Rayners' premises. The move brings Vision Express' number of stores in the U.K. and Ireland up to 367. Thirty eight of Rayner's U.K. stores will become part of the Vision Express portfolio and will continue to sell from their existing locations with Vision Express branding. The 27 remaining properties will shut down and transfer optical services to nearby Vision Express premises.
Founded in 1910, Rayners is based in Chesham. Vision Express was founded in 1988, when its first store was opened at Metrocentre, Gateshead, in the North East, the region where the company has been rooted. The stores acquired from Rayner crucially increases its exposure in new areas of the country. Vision Express is part of GrandVision, Europe's largest optical retail group.
Last summer Vision Express acquired 12 optical stores from Crown Eyeglass. Previous acquisitions include that of Batemans in 2008. The last three years have seen considerable growth at the company, which reported a 6 percent increase in operating profit in 2012 to £16.4 million (€19.9m-$27.0m) on 3 percent higher revenues of £248 million (€302m-$409m).