‘Our business just exploded’: All eyes on thriving store

VISION: Diana Ward, from the Optical Superstore in Riverlink, has  considerable experience in the industry.

ACCORDING to a recent Roy Morgan Research report, 58%of Australians wear prescription glasses and on average replace them every two and half years.

It seems the older we get, the more we need to wear glasses.

One local business, Optical Superstore Ipswich, assists locals with all of their optical needs.

Diana and David Ward have been in business since 2002, moving from the Ipswich City Mall to Riverlink and in their third move are now located opposite Coles in the Riverlink Shopping Centre. “Coming into Riverlink was our best move we ever did, a lot more foot traffic and our business just exploded,” co-owner/operator David Ward said.

The husband and wife duo has considerable experience in the industry. Mr Ward worked in Melbourne, the home of the Optical Superstore.

“I am an optical mechanic, I did my apprenticeship in this and I am trained to make lenses and fitting them into frames.

“This particular role is now gone, replaced by computers. I went on to become an optical dispenser,” he said.

Diana is a qualified optical dispenser studying for the position during a four-year course. Starting out as a receptionist in a laboratory, where the two worked together, she moved to selling frames to retailers.

The complementary skills of the pair means customers are the beneficiary of their considerable knowledge and skill.

Optical Superstore is an Australian-owned and operated business.

“When I worked for them they only franchised to people known to the owner,” he said. “I had a young family and wanted to move back to Ipswich and I asked if he would support me opening a store here. He was happy to do that.”

In this highly competitive business, Optical Superstore Ipswich prides itself on offering the latest in technology for eye examination.

“We try to buy Australian-made frames and stock other international brands. In fact, we have well over 600 frames on display in our store.”

Two optometrists, Alison and Emma, are instore six days a week. Bookings can be made from Monday to Saturday, with appointments until 5pm on Saturday and 7pm on Thursday.

“I will go out of my way to assist our customers – that’s what others will not do. For example, I will do prescription diving masks, people don’t think of that.

“I also do a lot of individual safety glasses that are prescription and certified,” Mr Ward said.

While consumers are more aware of their eye health, it seems there is an increase in young people needing prescription glasses due to constantly being on smart devices without taking breaks.

Optical Superstore Ipswich are providers for Veteran Affairs clients and work with all major health funds for hi-caps claims. Mr and Mrs Ward operate a very successful and customer-oriented business, dedicated to continue to support the local community.

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