Member Article

£80k investment for store expansion and state of the art eye tech in Hull

Specsavers Althorp Road has invested more than £80,000 in an improvement and expansion programme, which will allow the store to attend to the needs of more customers in the area.

Finalised this week, the expansion has seen the opening of two new test rooms, which has allowed the store to increase its test capacity for customers, along with greater availability of enhanced optical services.

The store has also opened a £30,000 in-store optical laboratory, with brand new equipment and has hired three full-time employees.

David Proudfoot, the store’s director, says: ’This investment gives us the ability to make our enhanced services available to a greater number of customers across the area. It also means we can safely put on triple clinics, allowing us to see more customers, regardless of any future Covid restrictions.

’It has been an incredibly challenging time for everyone, but it remains vitally important that people have access to high-quality eye and hearing care on their high street and we are very proud to be able to enhance our offering to the community.

‘The investment will also create career opportunities for us in the longer term, which will be widespread across the team in both optics and audiology – with expansion comes the need for more team members.’

The refurbishment includes two new test rooms, which will increase the store’s weekly examination capacity by 120, as well as boosting contact lens appointment availability.

The extra capacity has also enabled Specsavers to recruit an additional optometrist and it will also be recruiting for a supervisor role and an audiology apprentice.

The store offers access to brand new equipment, including OCT (optical coherence tomography).

OCT uses light to take more than 1,000 images of the back of the eye including the retina and optic nerve. A layered image is then created to allow the optometrist to view the deeper structures of the eye in more detail than ever before. From here, it can then help detect preventable, sight-threatening conditions up to four years earlier than a standard eye test.

These images are then stored, allowing the Specsavers’ team of optometrists to refer back to a customer’s results from any prior appointments and detect any subtle changes, which can then be monitored and assessed.

Some of the conditions that can be picked up earlier and monitored with an OCT test include diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and glaucoma. In some rare cases, concerns relating to wider health issues like brain tumours have been picked up, thanks to the detailed scan.

David adds: ‘Social distancing has been a very important factor in the refurbishment and the design and layout of the store. We have full height Perspex screens to help keep colleagues and customers safe as well as full PPE wearing and a host of other hygiene and social distancing measures.’

The store is encouraging all its customers to keep their appointments to ensure that they protect their eye and hearing health after research by the retailer showed that a third of people in the UK noticed a deterioration in their eyesight and others in their hearing during the first lockdown.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Specsavers .

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