Tesco to sell opticians business to Vision Express

The business employs approximately 1,500 people, all of whom are expected to be transferred to Vision Express following a consultation process

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The Independent Online

Tesco has announced that it is selling its optician business to Vision Express, as it continues to slim down and focus on core operations in its home market.

The supermarket chain said that Tesco Opticians currently operates in 206 shops across the UK and three in the Republic of Ireland. It also has an online offering and employs approximately 1,500 people overall, all of whom will be transferred to Vision Express following a consultation process. 

Tesco did not comment on how much it was selling the business for, but Matt Davies, the company’s chief executive officer for the UK and Ireland, said that this is part of the company’s mission to “simplify and strengthen” its UK business.

“Our priority now is to work with our colleagues and support them through this change,” he said.

Earlier this month Tesco reported a £1.28bn annual profit for the most recent financial year, narrowly beating analyst expectations after a tumultuous few years, marred by a major accounting scandal and fierce competition from discounters.

It reported group sales for the 2016/2017 financial year rose 4.3 per cent to £49.9bn and in the UK, like-for-like sales added 0.9 per cent, meaning the company had its first full year of growth since the 2009/2010 period.

The business and its share price have in recent months been supported by Tesco focusing on pruning down and concentrating on its core grocery business in its home market.

It’s hived off its South Korean business and has divested in Turkey. In the UK it recently sold its Giraffe restaurant chain.

In January Tesco announced its intention to merge with wholesaler Booker in a £3.7bn deal that would create Britain’s leading food business.