From the army to working in retail

Posted in Support Office on August 23, 2017
Author: Sam Reed

Meet Neil Lunn - Director

of Central Retail Operations

What was your background before joining Specsavers? 
I was raised in Guernsey and left the Island to join the Army at the age of 16. After the military, I didn't want a banking job (Guernsey is a financial centre) so embarked on a retail career - initially with Esso Petroleum and the Safeway Supermarkets.

Tell us a bit about your career journey at Specsavers? 
I played football with a group of lads who worked for Specsavers and they always spoke so highly of the company, the conditions and the opportunities that existed, and this was when we had less than 400 UK stores and were yet to embark on our international expansion. 

How has Specsavers supported your development? 
My development has been a combination of classroom and learning in a live environment. I've completed a Diploma in Leadership and Management but much of my development has been achieved because the business has challenged me and exposed me to many new situations.

What makes you most proud of your time at Specsavers so far? 
This is incredibly difficult to answer after 20 years as there are so many milestones and continue to be. We celebrated £10m in weekly optical sales but have now eclipsed that. I was part of the Leadership Team which took Hearcare over the £1m per week threshold. I've presented at the National Seminar in front of over 1000 Partners and spent 3 years in Melbourne as Retail Director during years of transformational change to the Australian and NZ market places.

Describe the Specsavers culture in three words 
Challenging, rewarding and dynamic.

What advice would you give someone looking to join Specsavers? 
Be prepared for change and embrace it. Dust off your people skills, get ready to have fun and prepare to be happy with never being happy! We're unique, and the best-kept secret in retail.