10th November 1983

Guernsey optician Specsavers was founded

Not only is Specsavers the biggest optician in the UK – it’s one of the largest in the world. Guernsey-based Specsavers Optical Group Limited was founded on 10 November 1983. Its activities are listed as “Fund, investment, securities and asset management, administration, registrars, custodians/trustees, stockbrokers”.

Specsavers was launched by Doug and Mary Perkins and now has more than 1600 stores as far apart and Finland, Norway, Australia and New Zealand.

The company has been kept in the family. However, the optical stores bearing its name are not 100% owned by the company. They aren’t franchise operations, though, as the parent brand does own shares in them. However, they are generally established as related, distinct businesses. The involvement of the central Specsavers group ensures that customers can switch between branches should they choose.

The business model has been such a success that Specscavers has captured more than 40% of the UK market and Mary Perkins has become Britain’s first self-made billionaire.

A global business

The combined chain employs more than 30,000 people and sells glasses from a range of designers alongside its own. Third party brands carried in its stores include Quicksilver, Converse and Hackett, while those tied to celebrity brands include Kylie Minogue, Jeff Banks and Will.I.Am.

Specsavers is headquartered at La Villiaze, St Andrews, on the perimeter of Guernsey Airport’s land. Its building had originally been constructed for electronics manufacturer Tektronix, which was once a major employer on the island.


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Other events that occured in November

Car plane air crash caused airport fireball 1st
A hospital worker stood accused of murder 2nd
Sark’s vineyards were vandalised 3rd
The original Torteval church was consecrated 4th
Sibyl Beaumont married Robert Hathaway 5th
The papers were excited by a Guernsey execution 6th
The States agrees to pay the Bailiff 7th
States of Guernsey hired its first independent vet
The Little Theatre was reprieved… for a while 8th
Guernsey was declared free of cholera 9th
Guernsey optician Specsavers was founded 10th
The court considered a Guernsey porn dealer’s testimony 11th
Guernsey Yacht Club was founded 12th
Guernsey aimed for equal adoption rights 13th
Jethou’s tenant fell off his own cliff 14th
Dad’s Army actor John le Mesurier died 15th
A Guernsey recruit regretted signing up 16th
Horticultural painter William Caparne was born 17th
German forces confiscated Guernsey’s radios 18th
A plane crashed on Crevichon 19th
Sark featured in the music charts 20th
Guernsey recruits caused concern in Parliament 21st
First Guernsey competitor took part in Miss World 22nd
A Lancaster bomber crashed on Sark 23rd
Sark women get the right to inherit 24th
Spanish flu arrived on Guernsey 25th
Guernsey held its first full marathon 26th
Admiral Thomas Le Marchant Gosselin died 27th
HMS Boreas sank at Hanois 28th
Radio station Contact 94 went off the air 29th
Royal Guernsey Light Infantry memorial was unveiled 30th