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Saturday / July 13.
HomemifashionA New World of Opportunity

A New World of Opportunity

Frame and lens packages can provide you with a competitive advantage.

The corporates have been doing it for several years… strengthened by the efficiencies and savings of vertical integration, they offer complete frame and lens packages with sharp pricing when compared to the offerings of independents that rely on third party suppliers.

Specsavers, for example, is able to offer its own frames paired with lenses from its own laboratory. Luxottica does the same and its soon to be completed merger with Essilor could potentially broaden the offering.

Although many independents might consider these offers from multibillion dollar companies hard to compete with, there’s no need to throw in the towel.

Many consumers are quite savvy and subscribe to the old adage, ‘you get what you pay for’ and are happy to pay a bit more for quality and peace of mind

Indeed, far from it.

A number of Australian and New Zealand frame and lens suppliers have come to the party to make cost effective frame and lens bundling possible for independent practices.

Buying groups – and some of the medium sized and smaller networks of practices – also offer bundled frame and lens packages.

These packages include options for children, young adults and presbyopes. They usually consist of a decent quality, fashionable frame with multicoated lenses, all for a pretty low cost. Often, a second pair or prescription sunglasses are offered as a special deal when ordered at the same time as the regular glasses, and importantly, supply is prompt.

From low priced frames and lens combos, all the way up to higher end offerings, there’s pretty much something to meet the needs of the majority of the market.

As well as offering attractive pricing, many of the frame and lens programs available have streamlined, easy to use ordering systems that enable you to order the frame and lenses online (even when they’re coming from different suppliers), leaving your display stock on the shelf for the next sales opportunity.

Independence

Corporate retailers often heavily promote low cost frame and lens packages online, in store, in catalogues and on television. There’s no doubt these campaigns are great awareness generators and they may encourage your existing – as well as potential patients – to see you to have their eyes thoroughly examined… however they may also come along with the intention of taking their prescription to a corporate to be filled.

Ensuring you have a selection of lower cost frame and lens packages on hand will help in these circumstances – even though you may not be quite as competitive as the big players, the professional relationship and expertise you offer could be enough to win the patient’s loyalty and gain a sale. Having shown them the alternatives at a low price point, you can always discuss the pros, cons and cost benefit of add-ons like individualised progressive designs or a higher index.

Many consumers are quite savvy and subscribe to the old adage, ‘you get what you pay for’ and are happy to pay a bit more for quality and peace of mind.

Meeting Premium Needs

mivision columnist Jess Chi, who owns a specialty, boutique practice in Carlton, Victoria, agreed that frame and lens packages might help independents compete.

“There is huge competition in our industry and offering a package will make me more competitive, so I’ve been toying with the idea of packages for a while.”

Although Jess’s primary market is high end, she said there is an advantage in being able to “offer something for all demographics”. The transparency of frame and lens packages also appealed. “Some patients like the simplicity of packages; they reduce the chance of bill shock once you add in all the extras,” she said.

These sentiments were expressed by a number of other niche, speciality independents, some who do offer packages, some who don’t and some who remain on the fence. While there may not be frame and lens packages available for the most exclusive products on offer, fortunately for most practices (and patients) there are plenty of premium packages available with lenses supplied by the likes of CR Surfacing, Rodenstock, Hoya, Opticare and VSP.

It’s well worth talking time to talk to your suppliers about the many different options available – they may be able to formulate a package that’s just right for you and your patients. With the support of your suppliers, it should be a ‘win win’ for all parties.

A Reason for Everything

Times are tough. Many families are battling with excess credit card debt, massive mortgages and the cost of putting their kids through private school. Every dollar counts.

Perhaps for this reason, at some stage, many people are tempted to purchase low cost spectacles locally or when travelling overseas. Having done so, they are often dissatisfied by the frame quality, a bad fit and reduced comfort. They may also be unhappy with their low cost or generic lenses, and show you terribly crazed coatings.

Progressive lens wearers are often the unhappiest. Many tell us that the, cheap lenses have much more distortion, poor reading or computer performance, poor head posture and/or a narrow field of view compared to their previous customised lens design and channel depths.

Others are frustrated by a lack of a multicoat or a low index lens which leads to poor cosmesis, reduced function and added weight and thickness.

We’ve all seen such examples with a patient suffering from a poor fit, peering through the lens way off centre, just below the upper frame rim. At other times we see a rimless setup with a lens edge that’s ‘thick as a brick’ and unsightly.

Take the Opportunity

It is possible to retain a patient who is considering taking their Rx to a cheaper eyewear provider, simply by offering them a similar all inclusive frame and lens package. In doing so, your patient will thank you and your practice will continue to grow.

Quality package deals are here to stay, so it’s a good idea to take advantage of them and source the best combinations to suit your market. Take a look at some of the offers currently available in the following pages.

Practice Building Bundles

Bonastar

Bonastar has over 1,000 frames across five collections to target different demographics and lifestyles. Broadway, Lucs, NuLucs, Advanced Optical Australia (AOA), and Mars Fashion frames can be fitted with single vision, bifocals, trifocals, extended focus, eye strain and free form progressive lenses. These lenses are available in any index and can be enhanced with coatings and treatments.

New frame styles are added to the ranges every month and practices are provided with updated display frames every three months. Fast moving fashion frames, that may be phased out within a few months, are available as lens + fitting packages.

Contact: Bonastar (AUS) 02 9310 1688


Essilor

Essilor’s Transitions for Kids protect children’s eyes and keep them safe and comfortable. Transitions Adaptive Lenses block 100 per cent of UVA and UVB rays for protection while playing outside and selectively filter harmful blue light to protect eyes from digital devices. Transitions Signature VII technology with Airwear material enhances protection and clarity of vision for children’s eyes.

A simple ‘Frame and Lens’ package is now available, enabling you to offer protective transitions lens, fitted into a stylish frame supplied by Frames Etcetera.

Contact: Essilor Account Manager


Frames Etcetera

Frames Etcetera has established frame and lens packages with preferred laboratories for the Capri brand, as well as private label brands for the major buying groups. Recently Frames Etcetera extended its frame and lens package brand portfolio to include Zana + Max and the Onyx sunglass collection – a competitively priced, on trend sunglass collection for men and women with four-base curve. Pictured is CAPR285C1.

Contact: Frames Etcetera (AUS) 08 9248 1882

Hoya

Oliver Wolfe, designed for Hoya Lenses, was inspired by practice requests for contemporary frames at a mid range price point, that are easy to order from Hoya. The range comprises 20 optical models, each available in two colours. A sunglass range and new optical models will be added this year.

Oliver Wolfe understands supply chain efficiency. Using a display stock methodology, the frame and lens is ordered through Hoya to ensure simple end-to-end supply chain benefits for your practice.

Pictured is Oliver Wolfe, designed for Hoya Lenses.

Contact: Hoya Account Manager


Juzvision

Juzvision specialises in optical supply chain solutions with four exclusive budget eyewear frame brands available to improve optometrists’ margins.

The all-embracing variety is designed in the UK and includes men’s, women’s and unisex frames in acetate, metal and semi-rimless.

Pictured is a model from Cubik, a casual yet professional range, which has been highly successful in Australia.

Contact: Juzvision (AUS) 02 4267 5096


Opticare

Opticare’s Frame + Fit Packages are available on consignment and can be easily ordered online using Optilink. Order your Frame + Fit package online before midday and receive your order the following business day!*

This independent Australian company’s comprehensive offering ranges from Instyle Kids’ playful metals and plastic frames for younger patients to Hyde’s charismatic, modern-retro frames for men and women, Aston Smith’s distinct, robust frames for men and timeless vintage Silhouettes with elegant detailing from Deborah Hayes Eyewear.

Pair the frame with the highest quality lenses for a complete hassle free package.

Contact: Opticare (AUS) 02 9748 8777

*Next day delivery applies to standard lens orders placed through Optilink before midday

Optique Line

Australian owned companies Optique Line and CR Surfacing have joined forces to supply independent optometrists with three well priced premium optical frame and lens packages.

The Australian ‘See & Save’ and New Zealand ‘Value Specs’ programs support practices by offering packages that are competitive while still enabling the practice to maintain a respectable margin.

These programs comprise three optical frame brands, the Gemini Collection, Gemini Essentials and Gemini Pure TR, each of which is regularly updated to represent current styling.

Contact: Optique Line Account Manager


ProVision

ProVision’s Supply & Fit program offers over 14,000 optical frames and sunglasses selected from 12 suppliers. Lenses are supplied by CR Surfacing, Essilor, Hoya, General Optical, Jack Chapman and Rodenstock.

Check stock availability using ProVision’s powerful ‘Google-like’ search engine, which is updated every 24 hours, then place a Supply & Fit order. Your frame order will be sent directly to your lab of choice with no freight cost.

According to ProVision, its Supply & Fit program:

  • Decreases freight costs;
  • Keeps your best-selling frames on display
  • Reduces your stock holding, and
  • Delights customers by turning frame and lens orders around quickly.

Contact: ProVision Account Manager


Rodenstock

Rocco by Rodenstock is a retro collection manufactured from ultramodern materials, for trendsetters and the fashion conscious. The yellow Rocco circle gives each frame an individual dab of colour.

A specially priced complete optical frame and lens package is available for a short time.

Contact: Rodenstock Account Manager


VSP Australia

VSP’s More for Members program, promoted to 6.2 million members from 24 partner health funds. Offers exclusive promotions and affordable frame and lens packages when buying from VSP network optometrists. The frames are from leading international brands: Calvin Klein, Columbia, Marchon NYC, Nautica, Nike and Nine West. VSP network optometrists enjoy supply chain subsidies when using the VSP Optical Lab Sydney. (Terms and conditions apply).

Contact: VSP Australia Account Manager