Doug Perkins, 70, and his wife Dame Mary, 69, started the business in 1984 on a ping-pong table in the spare bedroom of their Guernsey home. Today they employ more than 30,000 people at nearly 2,000 stores in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and had sales of £1.8bn in 2012. The company says its success is partly due to its business model – each store is part-owned by the opticians running them, with Specsavers providing centralised marketing, IT, accounting and other services.
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