Dollond & Aitchison

Dollond & Aitchison
Dollond & Aitchison
Type formerly Limited, since 2009 subsidiary of Boots Opticians
Industry Healthcare
Founded 1750
Headquarters Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Key people Andy Ferguson (CEO),
Pradip Patel (MD)
Products Eye care
Owner(s) Boots Opticians (Alliance Boots)
Employees 2,500 (2007)[1]
Peter Dollond established his business in 1750
Dollond & Aitchison shop in London (2009)

Dollond & Aitchison are one of the oldest opticians in the United Kingdom, having been established in 1750.



On 21 April, 1750, Peter Dollond opened a small optical business in Vine Street, near Hatton Garden in London. He was joined by his father John Dollond in 1752. The Dollonds became quite famous for the quality of his optical products. In 1768 John Dollond, now a partner in business, was appointed optician to King George III and the Duke of York. In 1781 Peter Dollond made bifocal spectacles.

At the Great Exhibition 1851 in London, Dollonds were awarded a medal for the excellence of their optical instruments.

In 1889, James Aitchinson opened his first business in Fleet Street. In 1927 Dollond & Co merged with Aitchison & Co, established by James Aitchison in 1889 in Fleet Street,[1] to form Dollond & Aitchison, also shortformed D&A.

In 1969 the company moved to its current location in Aston, Birmingham.[2]

During the 1960s Dolland & Aitchison was a subsidiary of the former British television company Television Wales and West.[citation needed] From 1970 until 1982, D&A were successful in a series of acquisitions in the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy. In 1994 however, management buy-outs of the UK, Spanish and Italian companies took place.

In the 1990s, D&A launched a number of services for customers such as in 1996 the introduction of computer analysis for eyesight, the launch of its own website in 1997 and in 1998 its "contact lenses by post" scheme.

The Italian frame manufacturer De Rigo purchased D&A in 1999. In 2001 D&A sold its manufacturer arm to BBGR. In the same year, restructuring of the company took place, consisting of the three wholly owned subsidiaries and holding company.

The company currently employs more than 2,500 staff, including more than 400 opticians. It has approximately 380 branches within the UK, consisting of around 240 group-owned sites and 140 franchises.[citation needed]

On 29 January 2009, it was announced[3] that Boots Opticians were to merge with D&A, forming a chain of 690 stores and 5,000 staff after Boots purchased a controlling share in D&A.[2]

Market share

Dollond & Aitchison is one of the four major UK opticians that between them control 70% of the British market for glasses and contact lenses.[citation needed]

Dollond & Aitchison were Royal Warrant holders and supplied glasses to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh [2].


  1. ^ Bradley, Nigel (2007). "Qualitative Research (7)". Marketing Research: Tools and Techniques. Oxford University Press. pp. 271. ISBN 0199281963. 
  2. ^ a b Griffin, Jon (2009-01-29). "Boots takes over Dollond & Aitchison". The Birmingham Post. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  3. ^ "Boots Opticians to merge with Dollond & Aitchison". Alliance Boots. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2009-01-29. [dead link]


  • Hugh Barty-King. Eyes right: The story of Dollond & Aitchison opticians 1750-1985. Quiller Press (1986). ISBN 978-0907621690

External links

Media related to Dollond & Aitchison at Wikimedia Commons

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