Specsavers founder Dame Mary Perkins on selling her first business [Video]

The founder of Specsavers on why she decided to sell her first optometrist business

Dame Mary Perkins says that having grown to 23 stores by 1980, the problem is “you become further away from the business and you’re… one step away from what the customers are wanting, what the patients are needing”.

The entrepreneur didn’t want to grow any bigger because at the time “there was… a lot of uncertainty in the air about how optics was going to be treated, whether it was going to become a very medical thing or whether it was going to come into retail, that sort of thing”. Ultimately she made the decision to quit while she was ahead and sell to a company that was “on an acquisition mission of buying up small groups”.

Perkins explained that “it seemed a good time to do that and perhaps look to do something different… and in fact that group of 23 stores was sold to a pharmaceutical public company at the time who no longer exist”.


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