Specsavers, a privately owned international optical group, is investing $20 million in a bid to revolutionise the New Zealand optical market.
This is the company's stated goal. Specsavers will initially open six stores in Auckland, Christchurch, Richmond and Lower Hutt and hopes to have 30 stores by the end of 2009.
``When I look at the New Zealand retail optical market, I see astronomically high prices and a lack of real choice store-to-store in comparison to the rest of the developed world,' co-founder Doug Perkins said.
Specsavers stores are owned by local optometrists under a franchise or partnership structure.
The company uses its global buying power and its supply chain to reduce the cost of the product.
``In Australia we witnessed the fastest growth we've ever experienced in any country to date which was telling, as prices there were the highest we had encountered.
``Given New Zealand prices are just as high as they were in Australia a year ago, we're expecting a similar response from New Zealand consumers,' said Perkins.
Graeme Edmond has been appointed New Zealand managing director.
New Zealand is the 10th country Specsavers has entered.