David Hardy baby punch
Tesco to sell its in-store opticians business to Vision Express for an undisclosed sum Google maps

Vision Express is poised to buy supermarket giant Tesco's in-store opticians business in the UK and Ireland.

Confirming the move on Wednesday (19 April), Tesco said the sale will "simplify" its business. While no financials were revealed by both parties, the deal is expected to be completed this year pending regulatory approval.

The supermarket currently has 206 optical stores in the UK and three in Ireland, as well as an online outlet. The running of both would be taken over by Vision Express.

As a consequence, around 1,500 employees of Tesco Opticians will be transferred to Vision Express.

Tesco UK chief executive Matt Davies said: "The sale allows us to further simplify and strengthen our UK business and ensures our customers are still able to enjoy high quality eye care services from Vision Express in our larger stores."

Tesco opened its first in-store opticians outlet in Peterborough in 1998. The venture had revenues of about £90m in 2016.

The move adds to a list of strategic asset sales in recent years by Tesco including the divestment of restaurant chain Giraffe, Dobbies Garden Centres, Euphorium Bakery, Harris and Hoole coffee chain and online streaming service Blinkbox from its business portfolio.

Vision Express, owned by Dutch-based Grand Vision, has 389 stores in the UK and about 4,500 staff. The company competes with Specsavers and Boots Opticians on the high street.