The Optical Express Group has filed a notice to put a trading subsidiary into administration, triggering speculation of store closures and job losses.
It is understood around 40 stores could be axed. However, the company said it would redeploy affected staff so job losses would be minimised.
The eye clinic chain has around 200 stores across the UK, employing around 800 staff.
Optical Express spokesman Ewan Hunter said: "In Scotland we have closed only three stores; Sauchiehall Street, St James Centre and Dunfermline and we are aiming to redeploy as many staff as possible.
"Less than 20 personnel may be affected in Scotland but if we can’t deploy them in our other stores we are offering them the opportunity to retrain for our call centre operations in Scotland. We are doing our utmost to protect jobs and this action gives us a very strong position going forward for the Group."
Millionaire Scottish entrepreneur David Moulsdale founded the group in 1991, with the opening of the first Optical Express branch based in Leith, Edinburgh.
Mr Moulsdale, chairman and chief executive of Optical Express, said today: “Most of the closures are in tertiary high street locations that have been significantly impacted by markedly reduced trade due to competition from shopping centres and reduced consumer spending.
“We are now in a position of strength to go forward and grow our business.”
It is understood PKF is being lined up as administrator.