Four Specsavers manufacturing and distribution centres will close temporarily

Airways Optical, Vision Labs, IGS and Hi-Spec Lenses will close until further notice on 1 April

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Specsavers has announced that four of its UK manufacturing and distribution sites will close temporarily from Wednesday (1 April) as a result of a “huge” drop in demand for products caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The sites that will close include Airways Optical, Vision Labs, IGS and Hi-Spec Lenses.

Employees at all sites are being consulted under the Government’s furlough scheme in order to protect their jobs, a statement released by Specsavers confirmed.

Based in Southampton, Airways Optical usually manufactures 85,000 bespoke prescription lenses per week and has 177 employees, while Vision Labs in Kidderminster would produce 110,000 bespoke prescription lenses per week and has 260 employees, Specsavers shared.

Also based in Kidderminster, the multiple’s IGS facility produces 30,000 complete glasses per week under the support of 136 employees. Hi-Spec Lenses, a distribution centre for frames, lenses, cases and accessories, has 74 employees.

On Tuesday last week (24 March), Specsavers announced that its stores would cease routine sight testing and only see customers for urgent and essential care.

Specsavers’ contact lens distribution centre, Lens Online, will remain open in accordance with its key worker status.

Director of manufacturing and distribution for Specsavers, Adrian Tune, said: “We are grateful that the Government job retention scheme allows us to look after our colleagues at this difficult time and protect their jobs for the future. We look forward to welcoming them back to work as soon as possible.”

OT endeavours to keep the most up-to-date news on our website and this information was correct when published. However, the situation regarding COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. Please check OT’s rolling optics-specific coverage for the latest news and guidance on COVID-19.