Bailey Nelson has launched a new business partnership model that enables optometrists, optical dispensers, and practice managers to buy into its stores.
The company has been developing and refining the program since 2017, when it originally launched with one trial location.
Prior to launching, the new model was trialled for 18 months in Auckland, New Zealand, with business partner and optometrist Andrew Brady.
“I had moved from Australia to Auckland and had been a locum for a while. I was married and had two young children, and so I was at the stage where I needed to create a base. Being new to Auckland, I was hesitant to set up my own practice so it came down to getting a job or seeking a partnership with an existing group, which I was much more interested in.
“I looked at several models and I liked the approach Bailey Nelson’s two founders – Nick Perry and Peter Winkle – had taken, the brand and culture they had created and the fact they were open to new ideas and always looking to constantly improve the business. I was keen to see if they were prepared to go into a partnership, so I worked with them for a while and eventually we came to an agreement,” said Mr Brady.
“My only reservation about joining Bailey Nelson was whether there would be enough of a clinical focus. After all, they started out as a frame brand, selling in the markets before setting up optical stores without optometry. However, by the time I arrived, all the stores were optometry stores and since then the clinical focus has only increased. I was very specific about the equipment I wanted and Bailey Nelson was happy to work with me on that,” added Mr Brady. “I’m very happy with the decision I’ve made.”
O=MEGA ATTRACTS INTEREST
Berners Hall-Matthews, Head of Partnerships at Bailey Nelson said the new model attracted significant interest at O=Mega19 in July, with several optometrists in Australia and New Zealand expressing interest in entering an agreement, and commencing the company’s partnership selection and induction program soon after.
“It is a business partnership as opposed to a franchise, to ensure the interests of the company and partners are aligned towards long-term success,” Mr Hall-Matthews explained. “Optometrists are able to invest in, and own a portion of an individual Bailey Nelson location, whilst Bailey Nelson coinvests and provides support services including supply chain, marketing, training and systems. Everyone has the same class of shares, and profits are distributed in accordance with ownership and investment,” said Mr Hall-Matthews.
The majority of equipment is provided within the business purchase agreement and the majority of professional development, marketing etc is absorbed by Bailey Nelson with any extraneous costs covered by the business partnership.
Mr Hall-Matthews will be leading the development of partnership locations, bringing extensive experience in the optical industry and partnership development. “I’m looking forward to expanding the Bailey Nelson experience to great clinicians across Australia and New Zealand. We value being a tightknit team, so we have worked hard to develop a model that rewards long-term commitment and alignment with our company values.”
He said it was exciting to have received strong interest at O=Mega19. “There are many cities and suburbs in New Zealand and Australia that are attractive sites for Bailey Nelson, however we will not open up a new store unless we have an optometrist on-board committed to that specific location for the long term. Fortunately, we had interest from optometrists who already practise in some of those great cities so we are looking forward to getting to know them and exploring the opportunities.”