Spex Opticians

Managing Director at Spex Opticians
December 1983 - Present (33+ years)

It’s a little known fact that Spex owner Kevin Horkin was the first person to introduce cut price eyewear to the UK in 1983. “Our aim is simple - to give our customers a top quality optical service combined with the best eyeware deals available.” Kevin opened his first shop called ‘The Eye Shop’ in Warner Street, in Accrington to national headlines.

Kevin was instrumental in challenging the opticians monopoly on the sale of over the counter ready reading glasses and in 1987 won a case against that monopoly. During this time it was illegal to sell spectacles by anyone other than a qualified Ophthalmic Optician. Kevin argued publically this was monopolistic trading and began to challenge the law in the courts on the sale of ready made reading glasses in the U.K.

It wasn’t long before the opticians ruling body The General Optical Council took out simultaneous private prosecutions in an attempt to stop the sale of ready made reading spectacles. Kevin successfully fought the actions by the General Optical Council until Margaret Thatcher’s’ Government decided to change the law to enable non qualified opticians the right to sell spectacles without the need for a prescription.

Many national optical brands were established around this time. Kevin then re-branded his business from The Eye Shop to Spex Opticians opening 18 branches across Lancashire, Greater Manchester & Merseyside.