Marks and Spencer to roll out opticians service to 55 stores
Marks and Spencer has announced it will continue the rollout of its opticians service across its UK estate, expanding into 55 stores over the next 18 months.
The rollout follows a successful trial in five stores, during which the service received a customer satisfaction rate of 96% and a customer recommendation rate of 96%.
Recent openings in Birmingham, Gateshead, Southampton, Bluewater and 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.
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.
The rollout is part of the M&S strategy to offer an 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 as well as view, purchase and try on glasses via a virtual try on tool.
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, added: "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.”