Regional chain Leightons Opticians and Hearing Care has announced plans for a ‘major recruitment drive’ next year to mark its 90th anniversary.

The company has invested heavily in refurbishments during the past six years.

Andrew Bridges, director of professional services, Leightons Opticians and Hearing Care, said: ‘We will be celebrating our 90th anniversary next year, and we will be marking this milestone with a major recruitment campaign.

‘We believe in growing organically: through investment in people, technology, marketing and our practices. We have been in the process of refurbishing our 34 stores over the past five years, we’ve completed 20 so far, and next year we are aiming to complete up to five significant redesigns in the early part of the year. Our new look stores are part of what’s driving our growth in terms of bringing new customers through the doors.’

Bridges said the company’s first redesigned store in Putney saw new customers grow by 51% in the year following refurbishment.

He added: ‘We’re launching a recruitment drive, hunting for passionate and progressive dispensing opticians and optometrists – ideally we’re looking for people who are happy in their job, but want to spend more time caring for their patients – and develop their career with a company that invests in CPD but also other management skills.

'Through our Learning Academy, we’ve completed around 700 interventions in the past four years, in key areas such as leadership, communication, sales through service as well as vocational training. We want to develop great leaders in the business, and listen and learn together.’