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.
The Duncan & Todd Group is the leading optical provider in Scotland.
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 £15m 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.
Shortly after the investment, Duncan & Todd acquired Peebles-based Dempster Opticians. The deal will strengthen Duncan & Todd’s presence in the Central Belt. It will also enable it to roll out its new audiology service, ensuring local communities have access to high-quality hearing care throughout Scotland.
Located in Peebles for more than 40 years, Dempster Opticians is a well-established optometrists with a loyal patient base. This is the first acquisition of Duncan & Todd’s new chapter, marking the next stage of the optical service providers' continued commitment to grow local services and sustain local employment, a key priority for the business as it looks to make further acquisitions across Scotland.
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