Published: 11:12, 25 November 2019
| Updated: 11:13, 25 November 2019
An opticians is closing its doors after 27 years on a high street and relocating to a nearby superstore - but it will be back.
Bosses at Specsavers say despite shutting the Margate shop, they fully intend to re-open a new branch in the town in the near future.
On Monday, services will be relocated to Sainsbury's in Westwood Cross in Broadstairs, with new equipment including a state-of-the-art OCT eye test machine.
Retail director Bill Pennell admits the Margate team are sad to leave the shop in the high street, but that it's not the end.
"We're part of the fabric of the town so hopefully we'll be back very shortly, but this time with all this new technology for customers," he said.
"I suppose the prime reason to relocate is because of the condition of the building - it's old, tired and not fit for purpose - and also because the lease is coming to an end.
"Also, not many people know this, but the shop is actually connected to a four-bed flat and so the landlord wants to develop the building and sell it.
"So we're taking the opportunity to move to Sainsbury's because Specsavers now has 50 branches in the larger Sainsbury's stores around the country.
"The intention is to give customers a brand new shop with new facilities and incredible equipment and then hopefully in the near future we will find another premises in Margate and come back to the high street.
"We're all local and we know that Margate is definitely the place to be.
"The Sainsbury's store would stay open, though, so it would be an additional one."
He says they are relocating for all the right reasons and that they will also start taking referrals from doctors for eye conditions so they can be dealt with at the branches as well as rolling out hearing services, using a sound proof booth.
"We see all this as a real positive step forward," he added.
More by this authorMarijke Hall