In the midst of the economic downturn, Specsavers reports its optometrists are currently experiencing “outstanding sales figures; with the majority of stores setting new sales records on a weekly basis and some stores more than quadrupling their business in recent months.”
Specsavers has reported a growth of 325 per cent in the past year of operations with The Australian stating the retail rollout has been “the fastest the company has ever seen in its 25 year history”.
Specsavers believes it has snatched a 16.4 per cent annualised market share by value, from a standing start in February 2008 and is now the second biggest optical retailer in Australia.
Specsavers currently has a total of 175 stores open nation-wide and plan to open another 50 stores by the end of the year.
Peter Larsen, the Managing Director of Specsavers Australia says: “This growth is against the trend predicted by industry analyst IBIS World who forecast the Australian optometry and optical dispensing market to contract by 0.2 per cent. It is also against the trend seen by other optical retailers, which media has quoted as experiencing less than one per cent growth or no growth.
“By contrast, Specsavers has posted record earnings week after week in 2009, with some stores experiencing over 300 per cent growth during the past 12 months. On average, our stores grew by 40.9 per cent during the past year. When you consider that other optometry businesses are bragging about not going backwards during the financial crisis, it really puts into perspective what an incredible achievement this is.”
Two Gold Coast stores hold the top spots for the highest earning within the first weeks of trade as a Specsavers franchise: Robina (first week sales of $44,465) and Runaway Bay ($43,148).
Victoria has the most stores, with a current total of 50. Brendan Myers, a Specsaver store owner from Sunbury, Victoria, says: “Since my store became a Specsavers store, the business has flourished with an increase of 150 per cent in customer foot traffic and staff numbers more than doubling.”
A Specsaver press release states Myers’ store has returned “an incredible 206 per cent increase in revenue in the last year and average weekly sales are up from AUD$6,700 to AUD$30,575, nearly five times higher than before the conversion to Specsavers.”