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November 3, 2002

400 new jobs as Specsavers buy hearing aid firm

From: Coventry News, UK
Nov. 3, 2002

High street opticians Specsavers is moving into the hearing aid market, creating 400 new jobs.

Specsavers has secured a deal to buy Leicester-based hearing aid retailer HearCare for an undisclosed, seven-figure sum.

HearCare has eight centres across the UK but its new owners plan to roll out 100 private hearing aid shops and create 400 new jobs over the next four years.

Specsavers founder Doug Perkins said: "There is currently a severe lack of digital hearing aids available through the NHS as a result of the soaring costs of digital technology.

"However, with Specsavers' immense buying power, we can offer people a sophisticated high-tech product that is custom made at an affordable price."

An estimated 150,000 hearing aids are sold privately every year and Specsavers says the over-60 population is due to increase by 20% in the next 20 years.

Mr Perkins says he's confident the venture could produce volume growth of 8% year-on-year.

HearCare was founded in 1998 and employs 26 people with turnover of £1.5m million.

Specsavers, based in St Andrews, Guernsey, was founded in 1983. It now has 472 stores in the UK, Ireland and Netherlands and employs around 9,000 people.

© owned by or licensed to Trinity Mirror Plc 2002