Steven Crawford, Optometrist Director, Specsavers Gloucester.
What is it like working in your area? What is exciting about it?
There has been a lot of change for optometry in the Gloucester area in recent years. This has seen the expansion of EOS allowing community optometrists to fully utilise their expertise to manage conditions that would normally be directed straight to HES. We have also been lucky to have a Newmedica ophthalmology clinic open in the last 18-months in the city. This has enabled optometrists to refer patients for routine NHS ophthalmology opinion and treatment with a shorter waiting time.
What does it offer compared to the region?
Gloucester is a small, up and coming city undergoing a lot regeneration and development. We boast a long history being founded in 79AD by the Romans, and have the famous Gloucester Cathedral and Docks area. Gloucester has a great location, with excellent transport links. We are a city in the beautiful Cotswolds and only 15miles from the Forest of Dean. Rugby is a huge part of Gloucester life and we were a host city for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
What do you offer compared to the competitors?
Clinically we have recently invested in an OCT machine and offer this to all patients over 40 years of age. We are one of two opticians in Gloucester with this technology, allowing us to detect eye disease at a much earlier stage. Specsavers offers a greater range of frames at more affordable prices, combined with some fantastic offers. We also offer and fit contact lenses from a vast portfolio of materials and designs from multiple suppliers.
Are you a big EOS store? Anything like OCT or a dry eye clinic?
We are very passionate about EOS in the Gloucester store and participate in all the available local schemes. These include cataract pre and post op assessments, glaucoma referral refinement, childrens vision screening and a partial MECS scheme for flashes and floaters. We offer OCT to all patients over the age of 40 for a nominal fee.
Which brands are the most popular in each store?
Our most popular designer brands are Kylie and Superdry. These frames sell particularly well due to their brand name and the variety of styles they are available in. Customers can also benefit from our 2 for 1 offer on designer frames allowing them to have two different looks from £99. We have found that fashion tastes have changed in the last few years. Previously customers tended to prefer smaller, less obvious frame shapes and colours; however, we have found a shift towards ‘statement’ eyewear. Customers are now drawn towards styles which are more round in shape with bold colours, following the fashion trends online and on social media.
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