Torrential rain did not deter a strong contingent of Sydney CBD office workers from attending the opening of Specsavers 400th store on Thursday 5 March. The new store, on Chifley Square, is owned and operated by Sasha Kempen, Gregory Braude and Greeshma Patel who also own and operate Specsavers stores in Sydney Central and the Sydney MetCentre.
With room for expansion, the new store offers two optical test rooms, a dedicated space for optical coherence tomography and visual field facilities, and nine dispense points along with a dedicated contact lens fitting area.
The Chifley Square store was officially opened by Australian fashion icon Alex Perry, who has been a fashion ambassador for Specsavers in Australia and New Zealand for over 12 years. He has also consulted on store styling and contributed numerous seasonal frame collections.
Mr Perry, who also opened Specsavers 300th store in Hunter Street, Sydney CBD 10 years ago, (which was also owned by Sasha Kempen, Gregory Braude and Greeshma Patel), acknowledged the work Specsavers had done to make “beautiful eyewear accessible, affordable… and stylish”. Cutting the ribbon, he said he was proud to be working with the group and described the Chifley Square store as the most glamorous of all.
I feel very blessed to be part of this 400th milestone – we’ve gone from being one of the first Specsavers stores in NSW to being the 400th
Like Coming Home
Sasha Kempen said opening the partners’ third store in Chifley Square “felt like coming home… We started across the road ten years ago at Hunter street, and four years ago had to re-locate due to re-development of the area. While many local businesses re-located to temporary space, we were fortunate to re-establish ourselves permanently in the MetCentre on George Street.”
She said opening a new store in close proximity to the old Hunter Street store made Specsavers more accessible to the partners’ original customers and was already attracting new customers as well. “Our old customers are dropping in to thank us for being back,” she said.
Having recently returned from maternity leave after her third child, Ms Kempen said, “I feel very blessed to be part of this 400th milestone – we’ve gone from being one of the first Specsavers stores in NSW to being the 400th”.
Acknowledging the support of the entire CBD team she said, “If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to achieve what we are achieving. We have invested significantly in developing their skills so they too can go through the venture partnership program and have their own stores one day. Having been supported in our own development, this is something we feel very strongly about,” she said.
The store opening was celebrated with a brass funk band (both in the store and out on the streets), free coffee and eye examinations for passer-by, and with the launch of new collections for Autumn Winter.