Urquhart Opticians has added three further optical practices to its existing five, through the acquisition of MacGregor Opticians in West Kilbride, Saltcoats and Stranraer. Peter Telfer, Managing Director of Urquharts said, “We have always stressed that maintaining our values is the most important part of any acquisition, and in the three MacGregor practices, we have found an excellent fit. “Like our existing practices in Kilmarnock, Ayr, Troon, Prestwick and Kilwinning, the new locations are already strongly embedded within their local communities. This is very important to us, as we seek to play an active part anywhere we have a professional presence.” In practice, this means planned investment in the three new practices to upgrade facilities, including introducing new OCT equipment to provide enhanced eye examinations.
In line with Urquhart’s staff development plan, Linda Dempsey, an optometrist who has been with Urquhart’s for 4 years, has been appointed Director of the Stranraer practice and has invested in the practice as a co-owner. Neil Gray, who is similarly Director and co-owner of the Kilwinning practice adds responsibility for Saltcoats and West Kilbride, creating a much stronger presence in North Ayrshire.
Urquhart’s has operated within Ayrshire for over 100 years and recently launched a Care & Community Fund worth £1,000 each month to assist local charities and good causes, - for which the three new locations are now eligible.
Peter Telfer adds, “We hope very soon to bring many added benefits to the three new locations, as well as creating development opportunities for our staff. For the people of West Kilbride, Saltcoats and Stranraer, we will continue to offer first class service, plus introducing exciting new, eyewear ranges to the area, including Tom Ford, Gucci and Tiffany.”
The MacGregors’ Opticians practices were first established in Saltcoats in 1988 with the sale arising this year through the retirement of the founder’s son, Brian Macgregor. He said, “I could not be happier to be passing my father’s legacy and my own life’s work on to the Urquhart’s team. Both sides have taken time to ensure it’s an exciting development for staff, clients and the community at large.”
The Stranraer practice is Urquhart’s first outside Ayrshire but shares many characteristics with its Ayrshire neighbours, being a historic market town in a coastal location.
In West Kilbride, Urquhart’s is currently the only optician in the town and Practice Director Neil Gray says, “We love being in places where we see different generations of the same family. Wherever we operate, our growth has always been largely through word of mouth. Becoming embedded in a community through adding genuine value means all of our existing practices continue to enjoy steady growth, year on year.
Peter added, “Our progress is based on hard work, listening to our customers and our communities and deliberately rewarding the loyalty they so generously show to us. These are the values we aim to bring to West Kilbride, Saltcoats and Stranraer also over the coming year.”
Urquhart remain keen to grow but further expansion in the future will also be based on culture and values. This will always be more important to Urquhart’s than size.