Spring is just around the corner and as optical retailers it’s time to give consideration to the summer collections you’re going to promote to your customers next season.
With their ability to block blinding glare polarised sunglasses come into their own during the spring and summer months as they reduce eye fatigue, improve safety and enhance optical clarity – perfect for long road trips to holiday destinations and endless days in the sun.
Once the realm of serious sports people and fishing types, today polarised sunglasses are designed for men and women, and for high fashion wear as well as outdoor action.
The secret behind a quality polarised sunglass is its ability to both effectively filter light rays and to withstand the test of time – by that I mean the polarising filter won’t, over weeks, months and years, bubble up or scratch off because it’s been well and truly embedded within the lens structure.
…polarising lenses currently represent a third of all Rx sunwear in the USA, yet in Australia, they account for only 5 per cent of total lens sales…
All about glare
As you know, glare occurs when light waves bounce and scatter off surfaces such as water, the footpath, the bonnet of a vehicle or the glass windows of a high-rise building. Under normal conditions, light waves bounce at every angle – up, down, sideways – when light waves bounce off a reflective surface, the waves align horizontally. The impact of those horizontally aligned waves of light can be 10 times brighter than the surrounding light. It can be tiring, blinding, frustrating and, importantly for those who work or compete outdoors, can negatively impact performance.
Polarised lenses block blinding horizontal light waves while letting through other light waves from the surrounding environment. The result is sharper more comfortable vision, stronger definition of colour, and for people who love their water sports, the ability to see through the glary surface of the water into the depths beyond.
There are a few circumstances that are not appropriate for polarised lenses, such as the obvious, like using LCD screens, night driving, flying airplanes (just in case that’s what you were thinking) and skiing. But for most of your customers this spring and summer polarised sunwear is definitely a strong selling proposition.
Make the Most of the Opportunity
There is plenty of scope to develop the business of selling polarised sunwear in Australia. According to Essilor, polarising lenses currently represent a third of all Rx sunwear in the USA, yet in Australia, they account for only 5 per cent of total lens sales (see mieducation ‘Protecting Eyes from Sun Exposure’ from page 57).
You can create a winning retail experience in your practice by greeting the warmer months with a display of polarised sunwear set within all the trappings of a summer holiday – think fishing rods, beach towels, even an umbrella and deck chair if you have the space.
Consider setting up an iPad or desktop in store with rotating displays that demonstrate the enhanced vision a customer can expect to enjoy in different circumstances when they slip on a polarised sunglass. A simple diagram that demonstrates the way in which these lenses filter blinding glares will also help you reinforce your message.