It is not often that you see an independent, University-born business grow and make a name for itself so rapidly. Specscart, a Manchester-based eyewear startup is making waves again with its growth.
At a time when most businesses are trying to move online, it has moved its first retail store into 4x bigger premises. Started by Sid Sethi while studying at the University of Manchester, it opened its first store in the Walkden Town Centre after winning the Albert Gubay Award in 2017. It quickly made a name for itself with high quality glasses, exceptional service and free eye tests for all. It also won the Venture Further Award in 2018. Their story has come full circle now, after opening a huge store in the newer side of the same shopping centre.
Specscart held the grand opening ceremony of this new retail space last Saturday. The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by Dr. Martin Henery, a lecturer and enterprise academic at The University of Manchester. Speaking on the occasion, he said: “I was so honoured to be invited to cut the ribbon and more importantly catch up after 18 months plus of the pandemic. It was great to meet the team… Here’s to your continued success which you richly deserve after so much hard-work.”
The new store houses Specscart’s latest eyewear collections, including a section dedicated to Actics Sports Glasses. It also continues to offer free eye tests for everyone, and free protective coatings with all frames: anti-glare, anti-UV and scratch resistant.
From a business idea to a large experience centre in Walkden – how did this happen?
“I was a young University student hoping to start a new business, with no knowledge about retail. It was like a fish out of water. But the Walkden community embraced not just me, but my idea and startup as well,” says Sid. He got the idea for Specscart when he broke his glasses 3 days before his final exam at the University. “I was frustrated with the extremely high prices and long turnaround time when looking for a new pair. And I couldn’t even choose and select properly! That is what I want to change about the industry. Glasses are not just an optical device – they are the most intimate accessory you can own. I want to provide high quality and trendy frames at affordable prices.”
In just a short period of time, Specscart has also already opened its in-house lab in Bury. With the large experience centre in the newer side of the Walkden Centre, they have proved how their award was so well deserved. “The Albert Gubay Award gave us the perfect start with our first shop in Walkden. The community in Walkden supported our young enterprise. We will always keep working hard to return the best value to our community. No matter how big we grow, Walkden will always be our birthplace and Home,” concludes Sid.