Acocks Green home to UK’s best optician

A family-run Acocks Green optician’s has been named as the ‘Practice of the Year’ in the sector’s main awards.

Banks Opticians, which was founded nearly 50 years ago by Brummie David Banks, beat off competition from eight national finalists at Optical Success Academy’s awards.

Paul Banks, Sarah Morgan (both Banks Opticians) with Conor Heaney (Optical Success Academy)

Now run by brother and sister team Paul Banks and Sarah Morgan, the family business has invested nearly £50,000 into the refurbishment of its Warwick Road showroom to extend its range of eyewear alongside its facilities.

Paul Banks said: “Covid-19 was a horrible time for all of us, but we used the new way of working to really get to know our clients and understand what they wanted from an optician.

“This led us to introducing a better portfolio of lens type, unique eyewear and making sure we made even more time for people, so we understood their visual needs and what they expected from us. It seems like common sense now, but it has really helped us build on the outstanding reputation our father David already had.”

“We really wanted to showcase what Birmingham had to offer the sector, but never thought we would be named as the UK’s ‘Practice of the Year’, especially when we were competing against lots of excellent businesses. Hopefully, it will put the city on the optical map and help us with our growth plans.”

Following David Bank’s retirement in 2014, the brother and sister team have continued the family legacy and is set to celebrate the business’ 50th birthday next year.

The £50k refurbishment consisted of a new shop front and flooring, an infrared heating system, bespoke cabinetry, and new client facilities. High quality eyewear has also been sourced from independent designers from across the world.

Sarah Morgan went on to add: “With so many products and services available online, we appreciate how important it is to offer something different and running an independent family business gives us the platform to provide that very personal service.

“Our approach is very much built on a consultation when the client is seated and we select frames for them based on their face shape, skin tone and from what we find out about them that reflects their personality. It is more of a personal service as opposed to a number through the door that can often be the way on the high street”.

Conor Heaney, director of Optical Success Academy, travelled to Acocks Green last week to present the duo with their award.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, concluded: “The West Midlands has some amazing family-run businesses and Banks Opticians is another example of the talent the region possesses.

“So, it’s great to see them, as a home-grown business, beating competition from all over the UK to be crowned the best in their field. Congratulations to Banks Opticians on being named practice of the year, and I wish the team all the very best for the future.”

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