INSPIRATIONAL businesswoman Dame Mary Perkins visited the Fareham Specsavers store to unveil its expansion.
The store has doubled in size, after it took over a closed La Senza store next door.
Dame Mary co-founded Specsavers in 1984 and is now one of the most successful businesswomen in the world, ranking in the top 100 UK rich list.
Despite her wealth and success, she is no stranger to the shop staff that work in more than 1,600 stores across 10 countries.
Fareham store director Simon Wain gave Dame Mary the grand tour of his store.
When asked how she felt seeing how successful her stores are, she said: ‘It makes me feel incredibly proud.
‘Being in Fareham, seeing how busy they are, how well-run and how they are looking after the customers, that’s what gives me a buzz – knowing that the customers are well looked after.’
She attributed Specsavers’ success to the stores’ franchise-style 50/50 partnership, known as a joint retail partnership,
She said: ‘You can’t run retail optics from behind a desk.
‘It’s the people in the stores who are there for the customers and that’s been our success.’
To celebrate the expansion, there were activities all day including magic from Roy Charles, refreshments and a giant ear promoting Specsavers’ hearing services.
The store employs 40 staff, as the expansion created eight new roles. It also has two apprentices who are working towards becoming qualified opticians.
It will also be sponsoring a puppy for the Guide Dogs, charity for the blind.