Two successful Welsh businessmen have returned to their homeland to celebrate the £400,000 relocation of Specsavers in Carmarthen.

Specsavers co-founder Doug Perkins and fashion designer Jeff Banks officially opened the new store, located at 23 Merlin’s Walk. The duo were given a tour of the new facilities and spoke with members of staff, including store directors Kevin McCarthy and Samuel Hodson.

The business has relocated from Hall Street after almost 30 years, doubling the number of test rooms to six, introducing audiology services for the first time and creating three new retail jobs and two clinical roles.

Carmarthen home-coming

Llanelli-born Doug Perkins who founded Specsavers in 1984 with his wife Dame Mary Perkins, said: ‘I played for the Carmarthen Quins more than 50 years ago and spent much of my early life in the area, so this felt like a home-coming to me.

‘In fact, I was lucky enough to have many of my former teammates come out in force to help us celebrate this relocation.

‘I was honoured to receive the Quins memorabilia from Brian Jones, who has done so much for the community in his role at the club as well as at Castell Howell Foods, just a few miles away from Carmarthen. It will certainly take pride of place in my home and serve as a reminder of my close ties to the club and Carmarthenshire as a whole.’

‘Offering a personal and professional service to customers is key to our partner-based model, and Kevin and Samuel are prime examples of how this can lead to success. I wish them the best of luck with their new store and am sure it will continue to grow in this thriving, vibrant region of Wales.’

To mark the official opening, Carmarthen residents were entertained by a choir performing traditional Welsh hymns and carols, and by eye health advocate and superhero, Specman.

Growing demand for services

Jeff Banks, who was born in Ebbw Vale and co-founded fashion chain Warehouse, said: ‘It was good to be back in Wales at the opening of the Carmarthen store as part of my ongoing relationship with Specsavers - especially as we have some exciting new things planned for the next two years.’

Store director Kevin McCarthy added: ‘The celebration was all about giving something back to our community. Our relocation wouldn’t have been possible without the continued support of our loyal customers and the growing demand for our services.

'Moving to a larger premises will enable us to deliver the highest standard of clinical and customer service, and it was an honour to have the opportunity to show Doug and Jeff this.’

All Carmarthen store information