High Street Opticians closing.


Sad news that high street opticians are closing due in part to the impact of Coronavirus.

Boots is the first so far to announce that it will close nearly 50 Optical outlets. 

'Boots UK has launched a consultation process for a restructuring across its head office, store teams and Boots Opticians teams as the company aims to “mitigate the significant impact” that COVID-19 has had on the business.

The consultation includes proposals to cut up to 4000 jobs, as well as the closure of 48 Boots Opticians stores.

In a statement announcing the plans, the company explained that though a selection of stores have remained open throughout lockdown to provide pharmaceutical and healthcare services, with “dramatically reduced” footfall in the height of the lockdown and key revenue-driving parts of the business closed, retail sales have been affected.

More than 100 of the larger stores in locations such as city centres, stations and airports were closed, along with “the majority” of Boots Opticians practices, excepting some delivering essential and emergency care during the lockdown.

The company suggested these factors combined to impact retail sales, seeing a reduction of 72% for Boots Opticians and 48% for Boots UK in the third quarter, compared to last year.'

Reglaze Glasses Direct (RGD) were the first to offer reglazing online 13 years ago. The internet has struggled to get traction in the Optical market due to the dominance of the high street and the reluctance of the Optical Profession to embrace on-line services. These services should have been welcomed, any alternative professional avenue that widens the availability to the general public is a benefit and should not be viewed as hindrance or  liability. Competition is crucial for both business owners and consumers, there is space for all good professional outlets whether on-line or on the High street. 

We, the on-line optical fraternity, have predicted this type of situation for some time and it has taken a really sad set of circumstances to highlight the shortcomings of having a largely High Street dominated supply. The sight test is the cornerstone of the Optical profession, without this none of the optical businesses will survive. 

RGD have remained open all the way through the lockdown and have now returned to normal levels of business, we are here taking orders and giving advice over the phone or via email.