Specsavers is confident of hitting a £1.4bn turnover in its full year to the end of February after reinforcing its value credentials.
The optical specialist said like-for-like sales for the year to date are up 5% and total sales are up double digits. In the year to the end of February this year, Specsavers delivered a turnover of £1.1bn.
Specsavers co-founder Dame Mary Perkins said: “We felt there was a slowdown even before we entered recession, so we took action to reinforce our value for money proposition and make sure we are affordable for everyone.”
Perkins said its £25 starting price on glasses with lenses was introduced at the start of the year, and the retailer has added value across its range. Examples include adding free scratch resistant and UV coating to kids’ glasses and more designer glasses at value prices.
She said Specsavers has benefited by attracting customers from higher-end opticians. New customers have been from all age groups, but the biggest is the over-50s, which she said “are the least likely to change opticians” but that “they have tried us for the first time because of the recession and we expect they will stay”.
Perkins said the retailer has attacked its cost base this year to offer more value. It manufactures its own lenses, so was able to take out costs in the supply chain, and also cut down on costs in shopfitting and staff uniforms. She added: “The one place we will never cut is staff because service is one of the key reasons people come to us.”
She said the economy is “bumping along the bottom” and Specsavers will keep adding value next year.
Celebrity designer Gok Wan, who fronts Specsavers’ ad campaigns, will design a range of glasses to be in stores before summer next year.
Specsavers, which has 672 stores in the UK, will open at least 20 more next year. It will also up its overseas presence, and Perkins aims to be market leader – as it is in the UK –
in each market it operates in.