Birmingham loses spectacle

The Guardian and The Birmingham Post both report on the news that Dollond & Aitchison name to vanish from high street with news that the Birmingham optician chain to merge with Boots.

The Chain which traces its history to 1750 and James Dollond's optician's shop on Vine Street in London was created with the merger of Aitchison & Co in 1927, itself founded in 1889 in Fleet Street. The headquarters of the 690 store chain since 1969 have been in Rocky Lane, Aston, Birmingham.

The chains employ 5,000 people, and there was no word on job cuts. Alliance Boots said there was only limited overlap, suggesting there would be little need to shut stores. There are plans to base the headquarters in Boots' home town of ­Nottingham, rather than Birmingham, where Dollond & Aitchison is based.

The merger will see Dolland & Aitchison branches adopt the Boots Opticians brand. Subject to approval by competition authorities the deal could be completed in June 2009.


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