We have professional mystery' shoppers but I will go round on my own. ' she smiles. 'vie got a couple of wigs and different glasses. And I'll go in with carrier bags and people don't expect to see you. If it's a busy place you can sidle up to the customers and say. ;what dowdy think of these? M dame Mary has always been confident of knowing what customers want since she and her husband Doug. Who she had met while they were training as opticians at Cardiff university in the UK, set up their first chain of opticians which they sold in the late 9705, however. He experience of owning a chain of shops meant the couple knew it was onto model they wanted to revisit. We didn't want a big chain and worrying about a head office and whether staff were working properly, you lost touch with people. ' she says. Consequently, they devised a Strategy that would allow opticians to become joint venture partners in each Spacers store We were very close to the opticians we employed in the last business and we knew that professional people were very much better working for themselves,' she says.
But [if you] leave them on their Own they are not going to make a very good business of it because there is so much back office stuff that needs doing. So we thought if they could own their own business but shelter under an umbrella with somebody else doing all the management services, that would leave them free to do what they are good at. ' thriving with Its Joint venture partnership approach to eye care, sapsuckers hit the milestone of 100 stores In July 1988, 200 In 1993, 300 in 1995, 400 in 2000, 500.