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Rawlings Opticians in Caterham, Purley and Croydon

PUBLISHED: 21:26 11 April 2012 | UPDATED: 16:26 20 February 2013

With the first store opened in Croydon in 1895, the independent Rawlings Opticians is very much a family concern. RICHARD RAWLING and his staff have seen generations of families pass through their doors

ADVERTISING FEATURE: Originally published in Surrey Life magazine January 2010

With the first store opened in Croydon in 1895, the independent Rawlings Opticians is very much a family concern. RICHARD RAWLING and his staff have seen generations of families pass through their doors, trusting their eyecare to many years experience

What are your hopes for your business in 2010?
We are looking to continue to provide the outstanding levels of service and professional expertise for which we are so well known.

What plans do you have to develop your business in 2010?
To continue extending our latest 3D digital retinal eye scanning technology, providing a painless and non-invasive way of detecting diseases that can cause blindness but are symptomless in the earliest stages.Also, our new, highly popular Get Better Looking Days will provide free sessions with make-up artists and colour consultants, as well as expert frame stylists. We are also introducing new collections such as our Essential range to suit every pocket and ensure that patients dont need to compromise on their eyecare in order to save money in these difficult financial times.

What sets your business apart from your competitors?
We spend more time with our patients providing a longer eye examination than many other opticians allowing discussion of any visual problems with an expert optometrist.We have qualified dispensing opticians who work with the optometrist to gain detailed understanding of every patients lifestyle to ensure they get the very best lenses and frames for their individual requirements.Being independent, we are able offer a larger selection of frames than many High Street stores often over 1,000 frames to choose from. These include well known fashion brands like Gucci, Dior and Prada, alongside many quirky and unusual designs from JF Rey, Prodesign and Tom Davies.

Who are your customers?
Mainly people who enjoy the continuity of care we provide, through our long standing and highly qualified optometrists and dispensing opticians in store. They seek service rather than sales tactics and appreciate the calm and professional atmosphere to be found in all of our branches.

How do you see 2010 developing?
Frames will continue to become more detailed and colourful with larger lenses in 2010. They will also become more personalised and bespoke with frame and lens designs made individually for each patient.

What is your business mantra?
Our profession is all about people. The continuity we offer means that our patients usually see the same people every time, building up rapport and getting the benefits of seeing someone who knows them and understands their needs.We are still a family business and can offer a truly personal service when others have lost this individual touch in the days of big business and hard sell.

What is the best thing about doing business in Surrey?
The sheer loyalty of our customer base we often find generations of our patients have been coming to Rawlings since we first opened our doors in Croydon in 1895.My great grandfather, Alfred Rawling, started after seeing an opportunity to convert his jewellery business to optics and train as an oculist a number of jewellers at that time did this as spectacles were generally made of rolled gold. It is great to see patients who come to us as children, growing up and bringing their children, and even grandchildren to us.

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