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Vision Direct bought by Essilor International

Online contact lens retailer Vision Direct eyes product and geographic expansion under new parent company


International optics giant Essilor International has purchased growing UK and Ireland contact lens web retailer Vision Direct.

The company’s plans for geographic expansion were also announced in the public release on 23 February.

Vision Direct chief executive officer, Michael Kraftman, told OT that Essilor was enthusiastic about his firm’s role in the optical marketplace, adding: “They’re supportive of what we’ve done and they like our business model.”

The new parent company would give Vision Direct’s customers access to a wider range of optical products, he said, explaining: “Over the course of this year, we will be expanding into other optical products, such as spectacles, sunglasses and ready readers.”

Mr Kraftman said Vision Direct was hoping to echo its market share in the UK and Ireland in the five other European countries it was based in – the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Belgium and France.

“We’re also looking to expand the number of countries we currently operate in,” he added.

The management for Vision Direct, which had previously offered online sales of just contact lenses, would remain in place.

It is not known what Essilor paid the private shareholders to purchase the business, which totalled sales of £33m last year.

For more information, visit the Vision Direct website.