Focus on Lens Labs

Posted in Support Office on August 30, 2017
Author: Sam Reed

Specsavers’ trio of manufacturing and distribution centres in Kidderminster has received fantastic coverage in the UK industry magazine Optician, after editor Chris Bennett visited to see the sheer size and scale of the operation for himself.

As well as focussing on the staggering volumes involved, the three-page Optician spread (published 11 August 2017) looks at the processes, technology and investment involved in servicing the Specsavers supply chain – and how expertise from the automotive industry has been brought in to lead this manufacturing hub into the future.

Since then, Chris Bennett has made a follow-up visit to Kidderminster and will be publishing an article on the impressive environmental credentials of the new IGS and Lens Online building.

Some fascinating facts about our labs:

Vision Labs surfacing facility

  • Produces uncut lenses for stores in the UK, Ireland and Northern Europe
  • 4,936 sqm site with 330 employees
  • Purpose-built in 1997, it expanded in 2012 to create an adjoining coating facility
  • Generates up to 100,000 lenses each week
  • 60% of output is freeform lenses
  • Two day turnaround throughout the plant
  • £2-3m invested in the plant annually

International Glazing Services (IGS)

  • Recently re-housed in a brand new 6,503 sqm unit a few hundred yards from Vision Labs
  • 178 staff glaze 35,000 frames every week, mainly for the northern European market and also a small number of UK stores
  • Its edging area is the biggest in the UK

Lens Online

  • Distribution hub for lenses and contact lenses to our stores and Lensmail
  • Located next door to IGS, it covers 3,716 sqm and employs 180 people.
  • Fulfils 25,000 orders every day
  • Uses the latest technologies to improve efficiency, such as voice controlled stock picking

The article also makes mention of our other surfacing facilities at Airways Optical near Southampton, distribution from NLRX Hi-Spec Lenses in Kettering, and further manufacturing and distribution centres in Guernsey, the Far East and Hungary.

View the full article on the Optician website (you will need to be registered to

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