Look local: Medway

Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham, Strood and a number of outlying villages constitute the unitary area referred to as the Medway Towns. Sean Rai-Roche travelled south-east to report

Jat Hothi, practice owner of Spec Savvy Optician in Chatham, joined optics only three years ago. Since then, he has embarked on an innovative and unusual business model that has seen the practice go from a standing start to servicing more than 2,000 patients in one year.

Established in October last year, Spec Savvy Opticians is located in Dockside Outlet Shopping Centre and is therefore required by its lease to offer a ‘factory outlet offering’ to customers. In order to do this Spec Savvy buys in bulk to pass the savings on to its patients.

‘In our first year we have already become a key account with Luxottica,’ says Hothi. ‘We use Rodenstock’s last generation lenses, which are still very good, for all our frames which also helps us offer a discount.’ Hothi’s market research uncovered only one other practice in the country to be based in an outlet shopping centre, meaning he could occupy a relatively niche position in the market.

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