BUSINESS: Retailers Months After Entering Canada, Specsavers Sets the Bar High With a Goal to Open 200 Locations by 2024 By Staff Thursday, October 14, 2021 12:18 AM VANCOUVER—Specsavers, the world's largest optometrist-owned and led business, is disclosing ambitious expansion plans for its brand in Canada, just seven months after the U.K.-based company made its first move into the country. The company said Wednesday that it plans to “become a market leader and open more than 200 locally owned stores across Canada by 2024.” It will start the ambitious expansion initiative by launching 16 stores in British Columbia over the next six months, a Specsavers announcement noted.Specsavers made its initial move into Canada in March with the acquisition of the Canadian optometry business Image Optometry from its owner Dr. Alan Boyco, as VMAIL reported. Image Optometry employs 55 people, including a business support team, and operated 10 company-owned and eight franchise stores in and around the Vancouver area of British Columbia at the time of the deal. The deal of the value was not disclosed. "We're looking forward to showing Canadians the value of our tried-and-true business model that has allowed us to deliver on our promise of accessibility for customers for 37 years and counting," said Bill Moir, general manager, Specsavers Canada. "By creating business ownership opportunities for independent optometrists, Specsavers is able to build a network that is represented in rural and urban locations and can structure operations in a way that generates high value for both optometrists and customers. Together, we will transform eye health for Canadians.”The Specsavers' announcement Wednesday was intended to serve as the company's official acknowledgment that it had entered the Canadian market with the Image Optometry transaction last spring. As part of this, the company also disclosed its plans for growing in Canada. The first Specsavers stores are scheduled to open in November 2021 in British Columbia in Woodgrove Centre in Nanaimo, and Coquitlam Centre in Coquitlam, with 14 more locations scheduled to open across communities in British Columbia by March 2022, according to the announcement on Wednesday. Specsavers is a leader in the U.K. optometry sector, and is known in Europe, Australia and New Zealand for its affordable and high-quality products and clinical expertise. All Specsavers stores are owner-operated under a supportive franchise partnership model that helps optometrists focus on delivering the best eyecare possible, while providing them with the benefits of a global, integrated supply chain with facilities across Asia, U.K., Australia, Eastern Europe and North America. With the goal of redefining accessible eyecare for Canadians, Specsavers is focused on bringing value-driven prescription eyewear paired with inclusive clinical care, advanced equipment, and unrivaled network of professional expertise to deliver best-in class service every day, the company noted. Founded roughly 40 years ago, Specsavers currently operates more than 2,300 Specsavers locations across 11 countries. More information and updates on store openings will be available on Specsavers.ca.