Vision Express Opticians - Vision taken seriously

Organisational Structure, Business and Supply Chain

The Vision Express group of companies in the UK serves over 1.5 million customers each year through over 390 owned, joint-venture and franchised stores. Vision Express is a part of GrandVision NV, a global leader in optical retail with over 6,500 stores in over 40 countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia.

The GrandVision group of companies are committed to delivering high quality and affordable eye care to more and more people around the world, through our wide range of expert vision services and unique assortment of prescription glasses, contact lenses and sunglasses, both with and without prescription lenses. In the UK, the Vision Express group delivers this service to customers with a ‘Vision. Taken Seriously.’ message.

Vision Express in the UK is the first of GrandVision’s operating companies to adopt the group’s new supply chain operating model. Under this new operating model, Vision Express and the joint-venture and franchise companies operate retail businesses focused on selecting the best product assortment for the UK consumer and presenting and managing this assortment to maximise customer satisfaction. For its part, GrandVision, through its subsidiary GrandVision Supply Chain BV, provides a centralised supply function for goods for resale and is responsible for:

  • purchasing goods
  • new supplier approval
  • managing supplier relationships

The Vision Express Executive and Leadership team work closely with GrandVision on compliance activities relating to Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.


Policies in Relation to Slavery and Human Trafficking

The GrandVision and Vision Express group of companies are committed to ensuring that they act ethically and with integrity in our business relationships. This is ensured by acting in accordance with the following policies:

  • GrandVision internal Code of Conduct
  • GrandVision Supplier Code of Conduct
  • GrandVision Global Human Rights Policy
  • GrandVision Responsible Sourcing Policy
  • Vision Express Whistleblowing Policy
  • Vision Express Remuneration Policy
  • Vision Express Modern Slavery Policy

The GrandVision and Vision Express group of companies will provide transparency by publishing progress in the GrandVision annual report.


Assessing and Managing Risk

The risks arising in relation to Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking are managed by Vision Express and GrandVision in accordance with the group’s approach to business-wide Risk Management, as set out on pages 78-84 of the Annual Report.

The following areas have been identified as carrying the highest potential risk of slavery and human trafficking taking place in the GrandVision group:

  • Labour Conditions in Product Supply Chain

    GrandVision operates regular audits of its suppliers in order to ensure compliance with the GrandVision Supplier Code of Conduct and which comply with international labour standards, human rights and environmental standards.

 

The following areas have been identified as carrying the highest potential risk of slavery and human trafficking taking place in the Vision Express group of companies:

  • Migrant / Agency labour in our Stores and the Vision Express Tech Centre

    All our employees are paid above the national minimum wage and full eligibility to work checks are completed prior to employment. Our teams are trained to report any concerns in relation to safeguarding either relating to internal or external concerns. There is a central payroll function which provides transparency over the payment of employees.

  • Third Party Agency Labour

    Our Store Support Centre, joint venture companies and franchisees work locally with several third-party employment agencies and employment businesses under formal agreements.


Due Diligence Process

GrandVision ensures that all suppliers receive and acknowledge a copy of our Responsible Sourcing Policy. We verify compliance of the suppliers with the GrandVision Supplier Code of Conduct through the use of regular third-party audits. All employees engaged in procurement and with suppliers also have responsibility and accountability for compliance with the GrandVision Supplier Code of Conduct.


Sourcing our Suppliers Responsibly

As a trustworthy partner we are committed to ensuring we deal with suppliers that also recognise their responsibility to the people they employ and the communities they affect. GrandVision looks at its entire value chain for opportunities to foster economic stability among its suppliers.

We are committed to business practices that do not infringe on human rights and that are aligned to the various international standards for responsible business conduct, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

Through our Supplier Code of Conduct, we clearly communicate our expectations in these areas and assess supplier performance. We then work with suppliers to ensure that any issues are continuously addressed.


The GrandVision Supplier Code of Conduct provides the following key principles:

  • Suppliers will permit GrandVision Group or its appointed representatives to access and audit the plants where the products or parts are manufactured, in order to investigate the proper accomplishment of the obligations provided for in this agreement and in the relevant contracts.

  • Upon prior arrangement with the Supplier, the GrandVision Group will have the right to carry out, either itself or through an agent, quality as well as Code of Conduct audits in the Supplier’s business premises.


Effectiveness Assessment

We will measure the effectiveness of the steps we are taking by tracking incidents reported through our employees, the public or law enforcement agencies and through satisfactory receipt and assessment of information received from suppliers. We are not aware of any reported incidents.

Training

As part of our commitment to compliance and understanding, our employees are required to complete the GrandVision Code of Conduct training annually. This is tailored depending on the role the individual holds and their likely exposure to certain risk situations.

Next Steps

We are rolling out a Modern Slavery policy throughout the Vision Express group of companies. In addition to the above, we are in the process of writing to all our local suppliers to request a copy of their Slavery and Human Trafficking statement and inform them of our minimum labour standards and action that may result if the compliance is not as we expect. This is anticipated to be completed by September 2017.

We commit to reviewing this statement each year.

Simon Hope
Financial Director and Compliance Officer

June 2017