Vision Express sets sights on franchising

Retail optics giant Vision Express has unveiled dramatic plans to foray into franchising to accelerate growth over the next five years.

The company will expand its network with the opening of 100 new franchise stores, which will be entirely owned and operated by franchisees. Currently, Vision Express wholly owns 106 of its network of stores, with a further 90 being joint ventures with qualified opticians.

The first franchise outlet has recently opened in Hampstead and will be closely followed by Windsor, Staines, Doncaster, Stratford-upon-Avon and Weston-super-Mare.

James Windsor from Vision Express says, ‘We are aiming to open ten new stores each year for the next few years, rising to 100 or so over time. So far we have a good pipeline of new franchisees lined up and are actively searching for other suitable candidates.’

New franchisees will be provided with a package of services, including the formulation of an individual business plan that it will be mandatory for franchisees to follow. They will also benefit from a VAT scheme created by UHY Hacker Young that will help them to optimise financial performance.

Vision Express is a subsidiary of GrandVision, which employs 3,600 people and operates 873 store throughout Europe, including the GrandOptical, Generale D’Optique and Solaris multiple chains.

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