Fledgling eyewear disruptor on course for £4m turnover

Sid Sethi at Specscart's Bury HQ

A Bury-based eyewear company founded in 2018 is eyeing sales of £4m this year, double its previous turnover.

Specscart was created by managing director, Sid Sethi, out of frustration with the expensive and snail’s pace process of getting new glasses from high street opticians when his glasses broke three days before his exams at the University of Manchester.

The modern spectacle designer and maker creates 200 pairs of glasses every day and is currently on a recruitment drive to keep up with the demands of a growing order book.

The Specscart headcount of 18 has grown to 22 during 2023, with another 10 hirings in the pipeline for 2024.

While based in Greater Manchester, the firm is also a multinational company with 20-plus employees in production units in China, and IT operations in India.

Sid started out with a £2,500 investment, painting and wallpapering his first shop himself and sleeping in his car as he travelled across the UK selling glasses.

Specscart team

Since its formation, Specscart has developed into a global retail and online entity, spanning three bricks and mortar shops across Greater Manchester, in Walkden, Urmston and Bury, and e-commerce monthly sales of £190,000.

Sid said: “Specscart has gone from a start-up to a scale up rapidly. We are transforming from the hardworking underdogs to industry challengers – one pair of specs at a time.

“Our turnover growth is fuelled by offering something very different in our industry – every order we make brings together the efficiency of Deliveroo, trackability of Uber, scanning technology of Amazon and speed of McDonalds.”

Each pair of Specscart frames is designed in-house then made into glasses at a state-of-the-art production lab in Bury. Sid said theirs is the only UK optical lab that makes glasses seven days a week.

Its on-site lens bank – with 100,000 prescription lenses – is the largest and most wide-ranging in the UK, it claims.

While established in three existing domestic outlets, the company’s international e-commerce sales account for five per cent of revenue with overseas orders from more than 100 countries spanning six continents.