Optical Express, the high street optician and spectacles retailer, is to close 40 stores after filing an intention to appoint an administrator for the trading subsidiary which holds the properties.
The company, which operates 170 stores, said that job losses resulting from the closures would be less than 100 as the majority of the 800 staff affected would be redeployed within the business.
The closures are a result of the company’s decision to consolidate its store portfolio and focus on its flagship stores and online business as it looks to counter the slowdown on the high street.
David Moulsdale, chairman and chief executive of Optical Express, said: “Most of the closures are in tertiary high street locations that have been significantly impacted by markedly reduced trade due to competition from shopping centres and reduced consumer spending. We are now in a position of strength to go forward and grow our business.”