Magazine article Management Today

Decisions: Dame Mary Perkins - Specsavers Optical Group, Co-Founder of the Opticians' Chain

Magazine article Management Today

Decisions: Dame Mary Perkins - Specsavers Optical Group, Co-Founder of the Opticians' Chain

Article excerpt

MY BEST...

At the time, the joint-venture partnership was unique to Specsavers, and it has revolutionised retail optics. It was good to give a support system to everybody, particularly young opticians who wanted to own and run their own practices. Women as well, because up until then, optometry was considered a bit of a male thing. It fits very well with family life because if you're boss of a business, you work how you need to.

I also kept the firm private. Optical companies or chains are usually run by corporate finance concerns or investment companies - big global players - but ours is still a private company with a family culture, rather than a global head office dictating according to shareholder needs.

MY WORST...

We're now the biggest supplier of digital hearing aids in the UK and we started that business only three years ago. In hindsight, it would have been great to have started it earlier. …

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