The new ‘Vision Express at Tesco’ store in Knocknagoney has officially opened its doors, with a celebration led by a Macular Society team member – as research shows over 2,500 people are affected by age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in Belfast alone.
Macular Society regional manager Karen Toogood was on hand to help cut the ribbon on the premises, which is home to sophisticated sight screening equipment and can deliver a thorough eye health service to local residents.
As a regional manager for the charity, Karen, aged 42, aims to increase awareness of macular disease throughout Northern Ireland, by helping to run support groups and recruiting and training volunteers.
She said: “I fully support initiatives encouraging people to have regular eye tests. If there is a problem, the earlier you can get it treated, the best chance you have to retain useful sight. With the equipment opticians have today, such as here in Vision Express Knocknagoney, they can detect conditions in their early stages - that’s particularly true of AMD.
“My advice to the public is to go to your optician and remain consistent, so you build a relationship with your optometrist. I would also encourage people to find out more about their local Macular Society support group, which are predominantly run by volunteers who have the disease themselves. They can offer great advice to those suffering from the condition, as well as their friends and family. The Hollywood Arches Library hosts a support group every month, which is close by for Knocknagoney residents.”
The Knocknagoney optical store is one of more than 200 ‘Vision Express at Tesco’ outlets launching across the UK in 2018 and showcases a purple-infused rebrand being introduced across the entire Vision Express chain.Vision Express at Tesco Knocknagoney store manager, Iris McCrea said: “With more than 2,500 local residents living with age-related macular degeneration, we’re here to them ensure their vision is the best it can be. We have over 100 ways to test your eyes, to assess how they’re working and help detect serious conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and increased risk of stroke. It’s great that Vision Express is now in such a convenient location for local residents to drop in and get this essential health check, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from the public in our opening week.”
The re-brand introduces a refreshed logo and striking purple and green colour decor, featuring bright sofas and wooden flooring, delivering a modern, inviting and vibrant environment to encourage customers to feel at ease.
Vision Express’ acquired Tesco Opticians at the end of 2017. In preparation for the expected increase in demand for frames prompted by the acquisition, a £1.5 million investment has been made at Vision Express’ Nottingham-based Technical Centre.
The national home of Vision Express’ laboratory, the Technical Centre currently produces more than one million pairs of glasses a year but following the investment, production capacity is expected to double during 2018.
Vision Express CEO Jonathan Lawson added: “This is a hugely exciting time for the Vision Express family, and we’re delighted to welcome new team members to the company and provide a seamless eye health service to former Tesco optical customers. Crucially, we’re pleased to now be able to offer our vision expertise in a convenient location to residents.”
About Vision Express
Vision Express is one of the largest optical retailers in the UK and part of GrandVision, the global leader in optical retail operating in more than 40 countries, spanning over 6,500 stores and online.
With almost 600 stores nationwide, Vision Express first opened its doors in Newcastle in 1988. Built on a passion for the profession, it has gone from strength to strength, driven by a commitment to unparalleled customer service and providing the best individual optical care, the right product and great value. Customers can select from a vast range of genuine designer brands and the latest technology lenses, through to complete glasses from £39.
With around 6,000 employees, Vision Express makes a significant difference to the communities it operates within, and the organisations it chooses to support. As part of its commitment to Vision. Taken Seriously, and as a responsible and caring retailer, Vision Express is proud to partner with a range of healthcare charities, which have touched the lives of customers and teams. These companies provide vital support to people affected by vision-related conditions. They are part of the Vision Express Charity Project and include:
- Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT)
- International Glaucoma Association
- Macular Society
- Stroke Association
- Temple Street University Hospital