Specsavers Opticians is the UK's leading optical retailer, and one of the five largest in the world. It celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2019, but is still privately owned by husband and wife team Doug and Dame Mary Perkins. The company claims a 35% share of the UK spectacles market, well ahead of nearest competitor Boots. It is the leader in most market sub-segments including contact lenses and eye tests. Specsavers has also moved successfully into the hearing care market, and has a growing international presence, with outlets in Scandinavia, Spain, the Netherlands and Australia. It is the local market leader in eight out of the ten countries in which it operates, with a total of almost 2,000 stores globally by mid 2019. Virtually all operate under the Specsavers brand, or as Louis Nielsen in Denmark. All are joint ventures with a local practice leader. Group revenues for ye 2018 were £2.6bn, of which almost £1.4bn was generated in the UK. Australia is the next biggest market with revenues of £570m. Co-founder Doug Perkins is joint CEO with his son John Perkins. In 2016, the company successfully trademarked the word "should've" in its long-running marketing slogan "Should've Gone to Specsavers". Doug and Mary Perkins took over her father's small opticians' practice in the 1970s and built it up into a chain of 23 shops before selling it in 1980. Four years later the government allowed opticians to start advertising to the public for the first time. The Perkins re-entered the market the same year, opening the first Specsavers outlet in Bristol.
Capsule checked 11th June 2019
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Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Mar 2018: Leading optical chain Specsavers announced the departure of marketing director Richard Holmes, who is retiring after 11 years with the company. His successor is former Barclaycard and British Airways executive Katherine Whitton.
Adbrands Weekly Update 21st August 2014: Ads Of The Week: "Detectives (C4 sponsorship idents)". The ads for optical retailer Specsavers are regularly among the most entertaining on British TV, all the more impressive for being developed inhouse by Richard Holmes and Graham Daldry. The chain has now signed up to sponsor movies on Channel 4; here's one of its new collections of ad break idents, which pick up on the campaign's long-running joke about short-of-site customers who "should have gone to Specsavers". See more spots on our Facebook page.
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