Specsavers International Glazing Services and Lens Online in Stourpoint Five, Kidderminster

Doubling capacity

Official opening of new Specsavers manufacturing centre that will double in glazing and lens capacity.

Specsavers founder Dame Mary Perkins officially opened Specsavers’ new Kidderminster manufacturing and distribution centre at Stourpoint Five on Friday 9 June.

The site consolidates and expands Specsavers’ operations in the Midlands to meet growing demand. The new facility’s solar and thermal power energy, self-harvesting water farm and automated conveyor systems to transport lenses will allow Specsavers to double its capacity, future proofing the business for the next 15 to 20 years. This expansion will create more jobs in the local area, with up to 200 more positions over the next five years.

Construction on the site took 11 months and was completed on schedule in November last year. International Glazing Services (IGS) and Lens Online moved into the two new units in phases and this was completed last month.

Specsavers’ International Glazing Services business glazes customers’ frames with prescription lenses for Specsavers stores in Northern European countries. The Lens Online business stocks and distributes lenses and contact lenses to stores in the UK and Ireland and executes the LensMail contact lens delivery scheme to customers.

‘Ever since we set up Specsavers in 1984 it has been important for us to oversee our own manufacturing, to be able to control quality and staff conditions while at the same time being able to pass our cost savings on to all Specsavers stores and their customers.’Dame Mary Perkins, Specsavers co-founder

Simon Holloway, director of manufacturing and distribution at Specsavers added: ‘We are delighted to be operating from our new facilities at Stourport Five. Both businesses have gone through a significant amount of change relocating to the new premises and have continued to deliver excellent service to the Specsavers stores. We are already seeing huge productivity benefits from operating from these premises and have seen a reduction in carbon footprint. Finally, I would like to thank all of the teams involved in making this project go as smoothly as it did.’

Around 400 staff currently work at the new site working in shifts 24 hours a day from Sunday night through to Saturday, with a weekend day shift working Saturday and Sunday. They enjoy improved facilities including two canteens, a games area, climate controlled working environment, ergonomic work stations.

Dame Mary cut the ribbon and toured the new facilities with other members of the Specsavers board.

Mike Parker, Wyre Forest District Council’s Director for Economic Prosperity and Place said: ‘seeing Specsavers invest in these two fine buildings is really positive for the company and their employees and Kidderminster.

‘Our intention is to establish a business friendly environment which is also great for jobs. We are very pleased to be part of the celebration of this new chapter for Specsavers and for the area as a whole.’

Nearby in Kidderminster is Vision Labs – a Rx lens manufacturing lab, which is another key component part of Specsavers supply chain supplying lenses to Specsavers stores. Other manufacturing and distribution operations in the Specsavers Group include Airways Optical in Eastleigh and NLRX/Hi-Spec Lenses in Kettering.

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