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  • Rollout comes amid increased consumer focus on health & wellbeing, with 64% of people saying they will take their health more seriously than they did pre-pandemic*. At least 10,000 people missed out on essential eyecare during first few months of lockdown alone**. 
  • Omnichannel M&S Opticians offer already live at 12 stores and online at www.mandsopticians.com


Today (Tuesday 2nd November), M&S is announcing the rollout of its popular M&S Opticians service across its UK estate. The service will launch in 55 stores over the next 18 months (by April 2023).

The rollout follows a successful trial, during which the service received a customer satisfaction rate of 96% and a customer recommendation rate of 96%.

Recent openings at Longbridge (Birmingham), Metro Centre (Gateshead), Hedge End & West Quay (both Southampton), Bluewater (Dartford) and Culverhouse Cross (Cardiff) have already kickstarted the rollout and increased the M&S Opticians footprint to 12 stores, with a further 43 to follow over the next 18 months.

All 55 branches will be operated by leading opticians and hearing care provider Owl Optical, part of the Scrivens Group of Companies, with an extensive range of M&S branded and third-party branded frames on offer for customers to choose from. 

Introducing relevant services and giving customers more reasons to shop at M&S

The M&S Opticians strategy is all about diversifying the customer offer by introducing relevant services that give customers even more reasons to shop at M&S. Furthermore, M&S is able to introduce these complementary services within its existing store footprint, utilising the space available across its vast store estate.

The rollout comes at an important time for the opticians industry as more people prioritise their personal health and wellbeing following a year of missed appointments. 

In the first few months of lockdown alone (March-June 2020), more than 10,000 people in England, Wales & Scotland missed out on essential eye care **, as eye health was seen as less of a priority for UK consumers. Fast-forward to September 2021 and 64% of people surveyed for the M&S Family Matters Index say they’ll now take their health more seriously than they did before the pandemic*.

Digital & Data at the heart

The M&S Opticians service is already incorporated within M&S’s Sparks loyalty programme, with local customers receiving targeted M&S Opticians emails, offers and rewards. 

This is all part of the M&S strategy to offer a truly omnichannel experience that allows customers to shop the way they want to shop - whether in-store or online. In addition to the physical experience in-store, customers can book appointments online at www.mandsopticians.com, as well as view, purchase and try on glasses via the innovative ‘virtual try on’ tool (below).

This omnichannel approach will help M&S capture a share of the £4bn UK opticians market***, offering its 32 million customers another reason to shop with M&S.

Sacha Berendji; Group Property, Store Development and IT Director at M&S said: “We know our customers trust us to deliver first-rate specialist services – whether it’s a suit-fit for a big occasion or a bra fit appointment with one of our expert colleagues – and M&S Opticians is just the latest example of this. Feedback from our trial showed that customers loved the convenience of having an Opticians within our store, and we’re really excited to be introducing the service to more stores across the UK and giving customers even more reasons to shop at M&S.”

Nicholas Georgevic; Chairman of Owl Optical said: "Following a very successful trial, we are extremely excited by the expansion plan for M&S Opticians over the next 18 months. Working in partnership with M&S, we aim to offer a market-leading optical and hearing care service across the whole of the UK - spanning M&S glasses, designer brands, sunglasses, and our comprehensive hearing care customer proposition.


We’re particularly looking forward to growing our M&S Opticians team to deliver this plan and are actively recruiting eyecare and hearing care professionals as well as front of house and back-office staff.”


-ENDS-


*M&S Family Matters Index September 2021


**The UK Ophthalmology Alliance and The Royal College of Ophthalmologists; as published in the The Royal College of Ophthalmologists Annual Report 2020. Available here.


*** Opticians in the UK- Market Research Report, IBISWorld. Available here.


Additional quote: 

Nick Lawrence-Downs, Optometrist at M&S Opticians, York Vangarde, said: “Sadly, during the pandemic, many people pushed eyecare to the back of their priorities, so it’s never been more important to go for an eye test. Here at York Vangarde, we’ve found that having an opticians service in-store puts eyecare front of mind for everyone and customers have loved the convenience of being able to have a test whilst doing the weekly shop!”


12 stores M&S Opticians is already live at (trial stores in bold):

Bolton

Derby

London Colney

Manchester

York Vangarde 

Hedge End

Meadowhall

Metro Centre

West Quay

Bluewater

Longbridge (launched on 7 Oct)

Culverhouse Cross (launched on 14 Oct)


Launching soon:

Castlepoint (4 Nov)

Canterbury (11 Nov)


For further information (e.g images) please contact: 

M&S Corporate Press Office: +44 (0)20 8718 1919

corporate.press@marks-and-spencer.com