*In 2005, Specsavers acquired the successful Danish optical chain Louis Nielsen, led by its founder of the same name. As the brand was so well-known within Denmark, the stores kept operating under the name Louis Nielsen.
“I’ve always wanted to be a leader, and I’d heard from colleagues about the good chances of becoming a partner at Louis Nielsen, so that was my motivation for joining the company at the time,” says 28-year-old Brandon, who started his career at Louis Nielsen in Brønshøj.
Brandon was hungry, and in a hurry, so it didn’t take long before he was offered a position as an optician at Louis Nielsen Næstved – one of the largest Louis Nielsen stores in the country, led by skilled mentor and partner Lean Vu Nguyen. An experienced leader, who could challenge Brandon and equip him for a future as Louis Nielsen partner and leader.
“The mentoring concept has been excellent. As a partner, Lean is good at asking the right questions, but he doesn’t give me all the answers. Instead, he gives me the space to find answers myself, which has developed me. Getting under Lean’s wings has been the best decision of my working life,” Brandon says.
However, before he joined the company, not everything he heard about Louis Nielsen was positive. A common prejudice was that the pace was too fast.
“Before I was hired, I wondered how you could go at such a fast pace without compromising the customer experience. Later, I found out that it is due to a massive focus on educating all partners and employees in ‘best practice’ on the customer journey so that everyone knows exactly what their role is when the customer enters the store. It’s quite fascinating, and it ensures that people get the best service every time.”
While the pace might be fast and ambitions high at Louis Nielsen, Brandon says that customers must still be taken in hand and receive the best and most professional guidance.
“We want to be the market leader, both when it comes to spectacles and eye health. When we do health checks, we measure the eye pressure and take pictures of the retina. If we discover anything suspicious, we forward the case to our network of eye doctors. If further treatment is needed, the doctor refers the customer to a local eye doctor. It gives customers peace of mind because they know that we take their vision seriously.”
The pace in Louis Nielsen is also fast when it comes to careers.
“You quickly get more responsibility. When you perform, people notice. Factors like age and gender aren’t important. It all comes down to who you are as a person. And if you lack knowledge about a specific area of the company, then there are great internal programmes for both partners and store employees,” says Brandon, who also runs at a fast pace in his free time.
He has spent the last year training for the Copenhagen Marathon 2022. Before he started, he hadn’t run for years. But when his friends challenged him, he couldn’t say no. Goal-driven as he is, he contacted a running coach, so he can get below four hours in May when the marathon takes place.
The newfound running enthusiasm is a great example of how Brandon feels best when he develops both himself and others. That’s why he often gets inspiration from listening to podcasts with talented leaders talking about their methods. His goal is to improve how he develops and motivates the staff constantly. He has also gone through the internal ‘Partner in Development’ programme, so he is ready for the future as a partner at Louis Nielsen, whose business model appeals to him.
“For me, it’s reassuring that we always have the support office behind us, so we can seek help with staff issues, finances, and marketing issues. That means that I can spend my time on sales, store operations, and working with people, which is what drives me,” says Brandon, whose prejudices about Louis Nielsen have long since turned to fascination. Especially when it comes to the company’s management style, he says.
“I had never thought that Louis Nielsen would feel like such a big family. The CEO, Mads Nygaard, started as an intern and worked his way up. You sense how there is a great love for the organisation, which spreads through the ranks. I’m proud of working here. My wife surely knows because sometimes, I probably talk too much about Louis Nielsen,” laughs Brandon.