Members of staff at Specsavers in Redditch bid farewell to the two store directors as they left to enjoy their well-deserved retirements. Having each chalked up more than 20 years of service at Specsavers, Ian Bowers and Andrew Stefanowski handed over the keys to three new store directors at the start of the year.
The pair showed inspirational leadership during their time at Redditch, with an emphasis on staff support and development, combined with a customer focussed approach. Through their support, they developed the careers of seven joint venture partners, all of whom have gone on to run their own successful Specsavers stores across the UK and as far away as Australia.
Under their guidance and leadership, the store enjoyed positive changes due to its continued growth, including the relocation to their current, larger premises at the Kingfisher Shopping Centre in 2013.
At their retirement party in November, Gurdeep Bansal, new store director, said: ‘Ian and Andrew created a real "family feel" culture in store, where everyone’s career progression and personal development was equally important. We wish them the very best for their well earned retirement.’
The pair has handed over the reins to three familiar faces at the store: Gurdeep Bansal, ophthalmic optician, Sarah Wright, retailer, and James Worton, dispensing optician.
Gurdeep began his career at Specsavers an impressive 13 years ago, joining the Redditch store in 2014. He progressed through the Specsavers knowledge and development platform, Pathway, to achieve his aspirations to become store director this year.
Sarah is a familiar face at the Redditch store, having started there as a dispensing assistant more than 15 years ago. Her hard work in the retail department has seen her progress steadily towards her new store director role.
James brought more than 16 years of experience in optics when he joined the Redditch store in 2008. He also advanced to his new position as store director through the Specsavers Pathway scheme.
Staff at the Redditch store will continue to see the important principles instituted by Ian and Andrew upheld by the new directors. Sarah Wright said: ‘We believe in the same principles of giving our staff all the support they need and making sure customer satisfaction is always our number one priority.’