Retail and Consumer

Jobs saved as family firm and household name sold after 100 years

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 30 June 2020 8:57

Jobs saved as family firm and household name sold after 100 years

The 'majority of jobs' at Norville Opticians, the retail division of The Norville Group, have been safeguarded after the group of practices was saved from administration. 

Norville Opticians, which was founded in 1898 and has practices in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Bishops Cleeve, Dursley, Wotton-under-Edge and Stonehouse, has been run most recently by chairman Frank Norville. 

Pre-takeover it has an estimated 50 staff. 

According to its new owners, Hakim Group, the impact of Covid-19 meant that “the business needed significant investment which has been provided through the sale, and almost all jobs have been secured”.

The manufacturing laboratory is a separate business and is not included in the sale. This is still being operated by the Norville Group, which is headquartered at Service House, Magdala Rd. 

All the optical practices will retain the Norville Opticians name above the door and continue to serve their local communities. 

Adrian Street, director at Norville Opticians, said: “With so many jobs at risk in the current climate, our number-one priority throughout this period has been to make sure the livelihoods of our people were safeguarded.

Read more: Historic Gloucestershire family opticians Norville is looking at potential sale

“We are delighted that our patients can continue to receive the same level of care that our teams are proud to deliver every day. 

“All of us at Norville Opticians are excited for the journey ahead in the next chapter of our history which is already over a century old.”

Norville Group's head office: Picture credit: Imagery ©2018 Google maps, Map data ©2018 Google

Luke Wren, head of business development at the Hakim Group, said: “We are very happy to welcome Norville Opticians into the HG family of independent practices. 

“Frank Norville, Adrian and their teams have built up a dedicated patient base through a commitment to delivering a first-class service putting the customer at the heart of their proposition. 

“With jobs secured, the practice teams can continue to do what they do best - providing their communities with the eyecare they need, when they need it.” 

Hakim Group has confirmed a full investment and transformation programme has been planned, which includes shared ownership opportunities for some of the existing employees. 

Chief executive officer, Imran Hakim, started the Hakim Group in 2001. 

There were no figures available on how many staff the firm now employs, but in 2018 it had just over 60 staff and now likely to be way in excess of that. 

It is described as “the largest group of independent opticians in the UK and Ireland with a rapidly growing portfolio of over 130 independent practices across the UK”.