Founded in 1972, The Duncan & Todd Group (Duncan & Todd) operates through three divisions – retail, manufacturing and corporate – and employs more than 250 people across its national branch network and at its state-of-the-art ophthalmic lens laboratory, Caledonian Optical in Aberdeen. It also provides outsourced corporate eye care services to more than 200 public and private sector customers, through its Smart Employee Eyecare brand.
Chief executive Frances Rus has overseen the growth of Duncan & Todd since leading a management buyout in 2007. Since then, the business has invested heavily in its manufacturing capability and successfully expanded its national footprint from its original base in the North East of Scotland to 28 stores stretching from the Central Belt to the Highlands, including the 2020 Optical chain in Central Scotland.
In March 2018 Duncan & Todd secured a £15million investment from the Scottish office of LDC. As part of the deal, Duncan & Todd’s existing backer, BGF, will exit its minority stake.
With LDC’s investment and support, the management team is embarking on the next stage of their ambitious growth strategy identifying complementary acquisitions to further expand the business’s geographical footprint and to roll-out new complementary healthcare services including audiology following the appointment of Duncan & Todd’s first Head of Audiology with further growth planned in this team.
In April 2019 Duncan and Todd became the largest independent optical provider in Scotland following the acquisition of nine branches from optometrist Black & Lizars. The acquisition is the sixth to take place since Duncan and Todd secured its investment from LDC. 56 Black & Lizars staff have transferred to Duncan and Todd as part of the deal, which will see the group move into seven new towns and cities across Scotland and increase its headcount to 405.
LDC's investment will provide both the financial backing and strategic support to allow us to expand capacity in some of our existing stores, roll out audiology nationally and make selective further acquisitions, helping us to take Duncan & Todd to the next level and bring our market-leading services to a larger customer base.Frances Rus, CEO, Duncan & Todd