Optician London - Which Optician Franchises in London?

07/09/2018 08:00 | Start a business

London opticians

If you're looking for business opportunities in London, you may want to consider the optical industry. There are plenty of opportunities within the capital, and the industry is currently in good health. Here, we take a look at which London franchises are most appealing and why opening an optician is an excellent investment.

Optician jobs London with a franchise

In the UK, the optical industry is responsible for the fitting and selling of glasses and lenses, the carrying out of eye tests, and the stocking of eye care products and accessories. In recent years, the sector has been shaken up by the arrival of major supermarket chains, such as Tesco and Asda. However, traditional opticians still hold the advantage and can boast of greater consumer trust in their services.

Currently, the optical services market is worth an estimated £4 billion and has grown by 2% over the last five years. It employs just over 60,000 employees and consists of approximately 4,500 businesses. The biggest players in the market include Specsavers, Vision Express, Boots, and Leightons.

While franchising is common in the industry, a large number of opticians still operate single stores or small chains. This means that there's plenty of opportunity for entrepreneurially minded individuals who can work within the franchise model and use the franchise support system to grow their business.

What it takes to succeed

Modern opticians need to take advantage of a wide range of qualities and attributes if theyre to succeed in the competitive, contemporary market. At the top of this list is a highly skilled workforce. Opticians require well-trained employees who are sufficiently proficient in handling all of the technical processes involved in optometry but who also understand the value of customer service.

Opticians also need to ensure that they are situated close to key markets that contain the correct demographic makeup. For opticians, a large percentage of business comes from older customers. Consequently, optical franchisees need to ensure that they position their company in a location that benefits from a sizeable over-65 population. This makes London an ideal place to open a business.

Finally, opticians need to develop strong relationships with suppliers to offer a competitively priced service. With the large supermarket chains attempting to capture a larger and larger market share, franchises need to ensure that theyre able to offer affordable products and occasional discounts. The franchising system allows them to do this by increasing individual units purchasing power through bulk buying.

Opticians in London

There are a large number of opticians already operating in London. However, the market has not yet reached saturation, and there are many opportunities to take advantage of. Prospective franchisees have three options to consider when trying to launch their own business venture. First, they can buy an existing franchise. Second, they can open a brand new franchise in an appropriate location. Finally, they could convert an existing business into a franchised optician.

For opticians, London is an ideal market. It boasts a large and diverse population that will actively search for affordable, high-quality services and typically trust in major brands. This makes both Boots and Leightons an intelligent choice when it comes to opening a new franchise.

Leightons

Leightons is one of the leading optical franchises in London and an excellent investment opportunity. The original business was founded in 1928, but it wasn't until 1997 that it adopted the franchise model and began to expand its network of opticians across the UK. The franchise now encompasses 34 franchise units across the south of England, with a high percentage of those situated in London. This long history has endowed the Leightons family with an enormous amount of expertise and experience, all of which it's happy to pass down to franchisees.

To become a Leightons franchisee, you'll need to raise an investment of approximately £135,000. This includes the £20,000 franchise fee, as well as other start-up costs. The business offers those considering a franchise three different types of ownership. These are traditional franchise ownership, a joint venture model, and shared ownership. Because there are different types of ownership, investment costs will vary. Consequently, it's necessary to discuss the matter with the franchisor before moving ahead with the application process.

In return for your investment, youll be enrolled on a comprehensive training programme that covers all the essential processes involved in day to day operations. These include sales, marketing, and employee techniques, amongst other things. All new branches are advertised extensively before their launch and franchisees will receive ongoing support from the franchisor.

Boots Opticians

Boots are one of the most recognisable brands in the country and the largest retail optical franchise in the UK. This gives it several advantages over competitors. Founded by John Boot in 1849, the Nottingham-based business grew slowly over the next century. By 1984, it had reached Peterborough, Leeds, Luton and Derby, and the business was bought out in 1987. Over the next three decades, Boots would expand across the country and become one of the country's best-loved brands. It operates throughout London and continues to look for new franchisees.

To become a Boots Opticians franchisee, you'll need to raise around £200,000. The franchise fee is set at £10,000 and is valid for a franchise term of 20 years. For the shop fitting, franchisees can expect to pay between £160,000 and £200,000, depending on the location and size of the store.

In return, franchisees will receive help with drafting their business plan, acquiring a property, fitting the shop, and selecting products. All franchisees are provided with intensive training and receive the support of the experienced franchisor team throughout the setup process.

Conclusion

Both Boots and Leightons are exciting propositions. They represent the best franchising opportunities in London and are by far and away the most successful optical franchises in the county. If you're interested in the industry and are considering opening an optician, they're the best place to begin your search.

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