Store Wars: Specsavers and Boots Opticians

Rebecca Smithers’ article written for The Guardian in 2012 provides a snapshot comparison between Specsavers (akin to IC Optical) and Boots (a high street retailer looking to directly compete with Specsavers).

She highlights that her article is a snapshot based on a single high street in Central London, in addition to this Rebecca also compares websites as part of her review.

I consider it most interesting to note that whilst Rebecca rated Boots (8/10) higher than Specsavers (7/10), her poll of readers reported a clear preference for Specsavers. (I won’t go into the issues surrounding the validity of conclusions drawn from the poll.)

” Rebecca’s verdict This is one of the few areas of retail where healthcare clashes directly with commercial opportunism, which could explain why online money forums are full of complaints about today’s fiercely competitive new-look opticians.

It is essential adults have eye examinations on a regular basis, as they are are critical for detecting conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and even brain tumours. Consumers have plenty of choice of where to go for an eye test, recommended by the NHS once every two years, and where to buy glasses – either on the high street or on the internet. But I can’t help but feel the pressure to make money through expensive designer frames could be taking priority over the healthcare message. Boots felt to me to have the professional edge without feeling like a retail temple.”

I’ll leave you to form your own conclusions from Rebecca’s article and verdict.



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