Last month, Specsavers celebrated its 10th year in the New Zealand market, with Thursday, 8 November 2018 marking a decade since the company opened its first New Zealand practice in Albany in November 2008.
The opening came hot on the heels of the Australian rollout that had commenced in late February of the same year. By the end of the year, across the two countries, Specsavers had opened in more than 150 practice locations.
Many of the first 150 stores were made up of a mix of independent optometrists and a few smaller groups converting their practices over to Specsavers’ branding, product and shop fit. Thereafter, the vast majority of practices have been greenfield stores, developed from the ground up as brand-new businesses under the ‘Joint Venture Partnership’ (JVP) model that sees Specsavers pair an optometrist partner with a dispensing partner in a jointly-owned business.
At launch back in November 2008, Specsavers Founder Doug Perkins promised to “change the face of optometry” in New Zealand with a combination of, as he put it, “high-quality professional service, fashionable eyewear, affordable prices and no surprises at the till”.
Ten years on, the business has grown in all areas. There are currently 52 Specsavers practices throughout New Zealand, many of which have grown from single consulting room practices to having as many as five rooms. The JVP model is the mainstay, and there are more than 100 New Zealand store partners participating in the business – the majority of whom are first-time business owners.
While ‘changing the face of optometry’ was the rallying cry 10 years ago, the patient and customer focus of the business remains undimmed, with the recent completion of the $6.5 million OCT rollout into every New Zealand practice and the allied mission to ‘transform eye health’.
In its most recent 2017-18 financial year, Specsavers New Zealand stores collectively recorded sales of more than NZ$130 million and maintained a market share of over 40% of eye care customers. More than 440,000 eye tests were performed in New Zealand – approaching 10% of the population – and a corresponding number of 440,000 pairs of glasses and 3.2 million pairs of contact lenses were dispensed and dispatched to New Zealand customers.
Specsavers in New Zealand currently employs almost 800 full-time equivalent staff members, including partners, store staff and Support Office members.