Tesco Watford optician

Tesco has continued its sale of “non-core” assets by offloading its opticians business in the UK to Vision Express.

The retailer said the move would “further simplify its business and serve its shoppers better”.

Tesco Opticians operates in 206 stores across the UK and three stores in the Republic of Ireland, as well as online, employing about 1,500 staff.

Tesco said they would all be covered by TUPE legislation to transfer into Vision Express following a consultation process.

The disposal is subject to regulatory approval by the Competition & Markets Authority.

“This allows us to further simplify and strengthen our UK business and ensures our customers are still able to enjoy high-quality eyecare services from Vision Express in our larger stores. Our priority now is to work with our colleagues and support them through this change,” said Tesco UK and ROI CEO Matt Davies.

It is the latest in a raft of sell-offs or closures of fringe businesses by Tesco. These include the sale of the Giraffe restaurant chain to Harry Ramsden’s owner Ranjit Singh, the sale to private equity of Dobbies Garden Centres, and artisan coffee chain Harris + Hoole to Caffè Nero.

Instead, Tesco has been seeking partners to take up space in its larger stores, including a trial with Holland & Barrett, which replaced its lossmaking Nutricentre business.