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Meet The Levy Payer: Specsavers

Specavers on Union Street have a clear vision of what the future holds for them, their customers and the Granite Mile… and it’s looking good.

The locally-owned and operated opticians and audiologists have launched their new-look premises after a £300,000 renovation project and are ready to welcome hundreds of patients to the state-of-the-art eye and hearing care.

We caught up with Specsavers Ophthalmic Director David McGinty, who has been a partner for 23 years, to find out more about the business and their plans.

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Tell us about Specsavers on Union Street

We provide eye health checks and hearing checks to the population of Aberdeen city, which includes supplying hearing aid and optical solutions for people along with supplying and fitting contact lenses. But we also provide emergency eye care treatment for people who are having problems.

We conduct approximately 500 eye examinations every week and in addition to that, there will be many more customers who come in the door looking for other services. Certainly, we have a large number of people walking through the door every day.

Not everybody is aware that each individual Specsavers practice is owned by a number of directors who are working on a local level. Despite our parent logo being over the door, we very much see it as our own business and very much local.

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What are the benefits for you and your business of being an Aberdeen Inspired levy payer?

It’s very much to do with keeping abreast of all the latest developments and what’s happening in the city centre. Obviously, we are very keen to be actively involved and be adaptable to any changes. There is a lot of activity going on behind the scenes in terms of regeneration and recovery from a post-Covid era and we want to be as actively involved in that as we possibly can.

We are also proud to accept the Aberdeen City Gift card - it's a great initiative from Aberdeen Inspired and we have seen first-hand some of the benefits it brings.

Last year during the Covid Recovery program run by the council, we welcomed a large number of customers old and new to the store. Cost of living pressures were already affecting everyone. We had customers coming in who were telling us they had put off getting new glasses as they were worried about the cost, in some instances this was the first time they had been able to prioritise getting new glasses in years, thanks to the gift card. They were so grateful for that.

What are your plans for the next 12 months?

We’ve literally just finished in the last week a major refit of the store. We’ve spent several hundred thousand pounds upgrading the premises and investing in the latest technology, both from an optical perspective and audiology.

We also now have a dedicated room to conduct earwax removal, which is becoming much more in demand.

And we have invested in the latest optical technology which does an in-depth scan of the back of the eye which enables us to have a much better view of how healthy a person’s eyes are.

We want to invest in our business and the local economy to make sure we are providing the service the public would demand and expect and we will be building on that in the next 12 months.

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What advice would you give to new businesses looking to set up in the city centre?

I would encourage them to approach it with a positive and open growth mindset. There’s still a lot of great opportunity to be had by locating in central Aberdeen and there’s certainly already signs of encouraging activity and investment in the city centre.

We’re looking for more businesses to join in and make Aberdeen a thriving business and leisure centre which is going to attract the wider population.

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When you’re not working, where is your favourite place or thing to do in Aberdeen?

There are a few things, but one of my great passions is whisky. I enjoy having a wee dram and I collect whisky as well, so Aberdeen Whisky Shop at the top end of Union Street is certainly a place I am familiar with, and I’ve got to know the proprietors there in recent times.

Also, Union Terrace Gardens is a lovely place to go and spend some time at lunchtime, when the weather is nice. I also do a bit of cycling and there are lots of places to cycle locally. We’re quite blessed compared to a lot of places in the UK in that respect.

You can find out more about Specsavers at 56-58 Union Street, including the services on offer and how to book appointments by visiting their website here.

Follow Specsavers (Union Street) on Facebook here.


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