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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Strategic Management Formulation, Implementation, & Control, 12e

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Case Details:


Case Code : LDEN084 For delivery in electronic format: Rs.400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Entrepreneurship/ Family Business/ Leadership
Case Length : 20 Pages
Period : 2002-2010
Pub Date : 2013
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Specsavers
Industry : Retail; Opticals
Countries : UK; Europe


From a modest beginning in 1984, Specsavers Optical Group, which was started by entrepreneurs and optometrists Mary Perkins (Mary) and her husband Douglas Perkins (Douglas), had become the leading optical company in the UK by 2008. Experts felt that much of the success was attributable to Mary’s organizational skills coupled with her propensity to avoid risk. The couple led by their team at Specsavers had turned the company into a market leader in the UK optical market with a 39 percent market share in 2009. Moreover, the company was a retail market leader in contact lenses with a 40 percent market share and was the largest provider of home delivery contact lenses in Europe.

The company had also tasted success in the UK hearing aid market. The couple aimed to achieve a market share of 50 percent in the UK optical market by 2011. Spurred by their success in the UK optical market, Mary and Douglas aimed to grow their business further by focusing on global expansion. In addition to growing the business, the couple also focused on succession planning by making their three children well-versed with the intricacies of their business. Their vision was to turn Specsavers into a 2 billion revenue earning company with 2,000 stores by the end of 2011. This they planned to do by expanding its retail presence in the UK, North America, Asia, New Zealand, and Australia. The company also planned to foray into other countries in Europe. Industry observers opined that the target was too ambitious and the rapidly increasing competition in the UK optical market only made it more challenging.


Study the strategy adopted by Mary Perkins and Douglas Perkins in growing Specsavers from a startup to a successfully running family business.
Understand various issues and challenges in entrepreneurship and family business.
Discuss strategies that the entrepreneur couple may adopt to achieve their growth objective for Specsavers.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
The Early Years 2
Mary and Douglas - Behind the Success 3
Fueling Growth Through International Expansion 8
The Online Stores Controversy 9
The Competition 10
The Road Ahead 11
Exhibits 13


Entrepreneurship; Startup; Family Business; Retail; Women in Entrepreneurship; Women in leadership; Inspiration; Business model; Innovation; Marketing; Competition

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