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Wales’ first Specsavers store celebrates 40-year anniversary

The original Specsavers Swansea store 40 years ago

A Specsavers store in Swansea has celebrated 40 years of serving the community with a charity fundraiser for a local hospital.

The store was opened in 1984 by Specsavers co-founders, Dame Mary and Doug Perkins. It was the first Welsh Specsavers store to open, and one of only five stores to open in the company’s first year – the others being Guernsey, Bath, Bristol and Plymouth. Since then, Specsavers has grown to become the largest privately-owned optical group, with stores in over 11 countries.

Dame Mary worked closely with the store’s team during the early days of its opening, helping them to perform eye tests.

The store initially opened with just eight employees, one unit and three test rooms. Since then it has expanded significantly, growing to three units and ten test rooms; however, it still remains at its original location at The Kingsway.

The Swansea team has increased over the years from eight to 54 dedicated members of staff who continue to drive the brand’s unchanged purpose – to change lives through better sight and hearing by making expert care accessible and affordable for everyone.

Dame Mary Perkins says: ‘I have fond memories of testing customers eyes in the Swansea store in the early days of Specsavers and I’m delighted to see that the store has gone from strength to strength since we opened it 40 years ago.’

Specsavers Swansea in 2024

To celebrate the milestone, the Swansea team has invited its customers to join them for a charity fundraiser in aid of Singleton Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Swansea.

The event will be held at the store on Saturday 29 June and money raised will be used to improve neonatal services for babies and parents in need of support after birth.

Chris Jones, retail director at the store, says: ‘We are thrilled to be celebrating 40 years at Specsavers Swansea. Without our talented and hardworking team, past and present, we wouldn’t be who we are today.

‘We’re a passionate team who is proud to support our local community so have chosen to celebrate this major milestone by fundraising for our local NICU ward, a cause that is close to our hearts.’

Specsavers Swansea is open seven days a week.

Additionally, to make eye health accessible to all, the store offers a Home Visits service for those unable to leave their homes unaccompanied due to disability or illness.