Although full anniversary celebrations have been postponed due to the pandemic, the team at a Hucknall opticians are raising their glasses (virtually) to 15 years in business.
Store celebrates anniversary
Specsavers in Hucknall first opened its doors back in 2005 with a team of just six, three of whom are still with the store today; store optical director Stephen Archer, Hannah Beale, duty manager and Lisa Boot, store administrator.
In 2013 Stephen’s wife Janet joined as a co-director and the business continued to develop – undergoing a major shop fit alongside investment in various state-of-the-art equipment. This included a hospital-grade OCT (optical coherence tomography) scan that can help to detect sight-threatening eye conditions many years earlier than conventional techniques.
Earlier this year Janet and Stephen welcomed Priyen Kotecha on board as a fellow optical director – making their team the 22-strong that it is today.
Over the years the store’s commitment to customer service has been evident with several award wins recognising the team’s dedication to providing the very best in eye and audiology care. Alongside this, support for the community remains integral; Janet founded the Hucknall Christmas Tree Festival 10 years ago, while the store participates in various business and high street events, giving local health talks as well as sponsorship and charity fun days.
The team are also active fundraisers. This year alone, during lock-down, furloughed staff took on a 500-mile challenge to raise funds for Nottingham Hospitals Charity, while another team member championed a local food bank initiative which resulted in a £10,000 donation to the cause.
A word from the store director
‘We feel incredibly privileged to be marking 15 years on the high street in Hucknall,’ comments Stephen. ‘In today’s testing times to be able to look back and see how our store has survived and thrived is certainly very humbling. Our team are what makes us and so nurturing and developing them is fundamental to ensuring we can provide the best quality service to our customers. Team members are offered tailored opportunities for progression and training with many former staff members progressing on to regional roles.
‘As with so many other businesses, the last few months have been very challenging. Janet, Priyen and I managed the store throughout lock-down providing essential or urgent eye care to those who needed it. We dealt with all sorts of eye-related issues: broken glasses and contact lenses for key workers; repairs and replacement glasses for children and people working from home on computer screens; eye health issues such as sore, dry and red eyes and foreign bodies in the eye. We also dealt with a small number of eye health emergencies - this included us diagnosing a retinal detachment, which is a potentially sight-threatening condition.
‘It’s great to have our colleagues back and to be able to resume routine testing again. A big thank you to everyone for their patience and support through these times, as we adapt to the necessary restrictions to keep our team and our customers safe.
‘We’re now looking forward to the next 15 years, and a possible expansion of the store in the pipeline, resolute in our commitment to providing the very best service we can to our local community with a team that loves working for us.’