Suppliers adapt to maintain support during outbreak

A number of frame, lens and surfacing suppliers are continuing operations to support practices providing urgent or essential appointments during the outbreak

frames on display
Getty/ Kwangmoozaa

The Federation of Manufacturing Opticians (FMO) has compiled a list of its members providing surfacing, glazing and frames that are remaining open during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

While many optical practices have closed in line with Government guidance to reduce social contact, a number are continuing to provide urgent or essential treatment.

A number of suppliers have therefore elected to remain open to provide products for genuine emergency cases.

Lens and frame supplier, Rodenstock UK, was included in the list as it has adapted its processes to continue providing support to practices.

In a statement the company said: “We must all support the efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect our friends and family.”

“Rodenstock UK is stepping up its efforts to protect our team and reduce the risks of ongoing Coronavirus transfer,” the statement continued.

The company explained that it has closed its Northfleet offices to all non-essential work but will continue through remote working and a reduced staffing policy, while customer service will be provided remotely by email from 9am–5pm.

The office will remain open for two days a week with a skeleton staff to process and deliver emergency orders as well as providing customer and technical service support over the phone.

Lens supplier, Hoya, is also maintaining operations to support optometrists providing emergency eye care to key workers, though the company is reducing the number of staff on site.

We are confident that we will collectively prevail through these difficult times together

A spokesperson for Hoya

In a statement to OT, Hoya said: “Many of our customers have unfortunately had to close their practice doors for the time being, however for those who have decided to remain open under Government guidelines to provide emergency eye care or glasses to the NHS and key workers, Hoya UK has a reduced team supporting their efforts by continuing to provide the much-needed spectacle lenses.”

“We are fully committed to our customers and we are confident that we will collectively prevail through these difficult times together,” the statement added.

Norville has confirmed it will provide emergency spectacles, aiming to continue to “support High Street opticians, and hospital eye clinics around the UK.”

The Norville labs in Gloucester, Seaham, Bolton and Edinburgh are able to produce and dispatch spectacles on the same day to a patient’s home address via Royal Mail.

The company also highlighted that, following verification by a current ABDO member, Norville will make emergency spectacles for both adults and children from its safety eyewear collections for PPE requirements and the Allyn range of frames.

“This modified procedure, now confirmed by the College of Optometrists and the General Optical Council as acceptable even for children’s spectacles, will meet the needs of those who have damaged or broken their specs and need instant help,” explained Norville chairman, Frank Norville.

While single vision stock range can be produced and dispatched on the same day and surfacing may be a similar timeline, Mr Norville added that tints or MAR to surfaced range would extend the timing.

“The Government has instructed optical practices to continue to provide urgent eye care throughout the crisis to enable people in need, and key workers, to access essential eye care which cannot be postponed,” continued Mr Norville, adding: “We hope this service will cover any emergency prescription supply requests. Of course, if it is a replacement for a previous order processed by us, we will have the exact details in our prescription database. Having the date of the supply will help to speed up the process.”

The emergency spectacle supply will carry no extra service charge and the cost will be charged to the practice’s account with a £4.50 postal charge.

David Ellison, operations director for the FMO, told OT the idea for the list came from member Julian Wiles, the founder and owner of Performance Lenses, as well as country manager UK and Ireland for Younger Optics.

Mr Ellison explained: “The idea was to produce a list of the operating labs, just to let everyone within the industry know which labs are still open.”

In light of the rapidly changing environment surrounding COVID-19, the suppliers reserve the right to close in accordance with the situation.

FMO member frame companies operating

 CentroStyle (Optical Centre Supplies) 01923 239267  [email protected]
 Continental Eyewear 0151 426 3907  [email protected] 
 FGX UK 01782 813 000   [email protected]
 Norville Eyewear 01452 528 686   [email protected]
 Rodenstock 01452 531 122  [email protected]
Spec-Care/Erin's World Frames  01392 460 806  [email protected]


FMO member surfacing and glazing labs currently open

 Caledonian  01388 420 420  [email protected]
 Dunelm 01388 420 420   [email protected]
 Essilor 01454 281 281   [email protected]
 Hoya  0844 873 1110  [email protected]
Eye Index   01480 499 600  [email protected]
 Itec 01582 594 405   [email protected]
Norville Group  01452 510 332  [email protected] 
 One Optical  0141 643 0639  [email protected]
Quincey Eyewear 01872 571 615  [email protected]
 Rodenstock  01474 531 122 [email protected]
Zeiss Vision  0845 300 7788 [email protected]

Non-FMO member suppliers operating

Advanced Optical 01494 726 037  N/A
Barnsley Optical  01226 390 481 [email protected] 
Basecurve  01254 705 402  [email protected]
Berkshire Labs 01635 865 050  N/A
Butterworths  0131 661 4555 [email protected]
Independent Optics 01954 231 545 [email protected]
Industrial Eyecare 01695 581 222  [email protected]
Jai Kudo  020 8732 9600 [email protected]
JLL Optics  0141 763 1558  [email protected] 
JS Optical  01562 862 409 N/A 
Lenstec 029 2088 3009  [email protected] 
Lumley 0191 271 5050  N/A 
MBOS 0151 420 4080  [email protected] 
 Optimum Coatings 01524 541 540 [email protected]
 PKP Optics 01892 837 979  N/A
Pollard Optical  07722 011 914 [email protected] 
 Sales Optical 01722 331 544   N/A
Tant Labs  N/A [email protected] 
Waterside  02380 429 600  [email protected]

OT endeavours to keep the most up-to-date news on our website and this information was correct when published. However, the situation regarding COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. Please check OT’s rolling optics-specific coverage for the latest news and guidance on COVID-19.