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French supermarkets to sell spectacles

Ahead of health reforms that should see the price of spectacles fall from January 2020, four major French supermarket chains are planning to enter the market

Supermarkets in France are entering the spectacles market, a move is expected to see prices tumble.

A study for Le Parisien found that a number of supermarket chains' plans to sell spectacles were well advanced - and one, Carrefour, had already launched its service. Casino, Auchan and Leclerc are set to follow suit.

A spokesperson for Casino told the newspaper that about 50 Optical Casino stores are expected to open in the coming months: "Glasses are a product like any other: the second pair at €1 and sunglasses are constantly being promoted".

The chains' move into the market comes ahead of other reforms that will see prices fall, with certain spectacles becoming fully reimbursed from January 1, 2020.

Free glasses were an election promise of Mr Macron, along with dental prostheses and hearing aids - which will be reimbursed from 2021.

Under the plan, opticians must offer at least 17 models of glasses including quality lenses, such as unbreakable lenses, thin lenses, anti-reflective lenses and frames of different colours. The spectacles covered must also be available to patients with all vision problems.

The scheme is intended to open healthcare to the poorest in society. As Health Minister Agnès Buzyn said at the time of the announcement in 2018, there was no chance of, "offering Chanel frames to everyone".

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