Optical and audiology services in Sheffield has received an extra boost this month following the launch of a state-of-the-art Specsavers store at the award-winning Fox Valley development.
The 1,500 sq. ft. store, situated on a former 28-acre steelworks site in Stocksbridge, has benefitted from a £350k investment and is predicted to provide employment to more than 10 people in the local area.
The new team, who bring a combined 25 years’ optical experience between them, is headed by the store’s directors Humma Khalid and Hitesh Patel. As well as experience, they hope to help the town’s residents with all their sight and hearing issues by investing in new technology, including an OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) machine.
Ophthalmic Director, Humma, started her career at Specsavers in 2012 as a newly qualified optometrist and has contributed to the success of the stores as well as representing Specsavers by delivering a successful teaching assignment in Zambia with Vision Aid Overseas. Her passion lies in optics; both in the humanitarian sense and as an aspiring businesswoman.
Humma said: ‘I feel so lucky to be a director of a brand new Specsavers store. I am incredibly passionate about optics and audiology and we’re all really excited to help build the careers of our new starters. With the great career progression opportunities Specsavers offers, we’re really excited to help members of staff develop and grow.’
Also leading the store is Retail Director, Hitesh Patel.
Hitesh’s optical career journey started in 2006 and he has a wealth of Specsavers experience working his way up into management before joining Fox Valley as Retail Director.
Hitesh said: ‘We’ve been delighted with the warm reception we’ve had from the community and excited to work with the new team to create a professional and friendly environment for staff to flourish and customers to enjoy.’
As well as eye tests and hearing checks, the new store will provide a wide range of optical and audiology services, equipped with three test rooms as well as a sound-proofed audiology booth.
The store boasts a £40k OCT machine. Usually found in hospitals, the technology allows optometrists to look deeper into the eyes than ever before and can help detect treatable eye conditions sooner.
Specsavers joins a host of retailers at Fox Valley including Boots, Next, Sports Direct and Sandersons Boutique Department Store. The £50m centre opened in June 2016 and has won a number of high-profile industry awards including the RICS Pro-Yorkshire Award for Regeneration.
Fox Valley is owned and managed by the retail property specialist Dransfield Properties. Estates Director James Shepherd said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Specsavers to Fox Valley.
‘The company is a great addition to the centre and we’re delighted about the new store opening here at the centre.’
"Weve been delighted with the warm reception weve had from the community so far!"