Eye wear business Sep, 15 2016

Enter Eyewear Retail, Earn Profits, Go Franchising

The eyewear industry has shown an exponential shift in the recent times and is undoubtedly foraying a very positive future. In a detailed article, please find the profitable returns one can earn via venturing into this industry.

By Deepankar Hemnani
Enter Eyewear Retail, Earn Profits, Go Franchising

once was considered as just a utility catering towards optical concerns and was never considered as a mainstream line of business has now proven to be a fully fledged profitable opportunity which is on an up scaling spree as the consumer behaviour has evolved over the years.

The Indian eyewear market -Unveiled

The size of the organized eyewear segment in India is around Rs. 5200 crore, which is growing rapidly with the launch of Indian and International brands. The changing times have proved that there was space for evolution in the eyewear segment and a robust approach was mere needed to be adapted. Undoubtedly, the eyewear industry has seen a paradigm shift in the changing trends and is up and ready for new brands and people to invest in the crystal clear opportunity.

Why a Robust Opportunity

According to a latest report by Euromonitor International, India is touted to be the leader in top-ten fastest growing eyewear markets during 2016 to 2021 fiscal followed by UAE, Thailand, Malaysia, China and others and the reason the segment is growing at such a high pace varies from the changing consumer behaviour, increasing urbanisation, increasing use of smart phones in younger generation, acceptance of Omni-channel and a transformation happening towards organising the unorganised distribution network. Peyush Bansal, Founder and CEO, Lenskart said “Around half a billion people in India need spectacles which is about 40 percent of India’s population, and the number will grow to about 60 per cent witnessing the increased use of smart phones and other eye stressing devices in the younger generation”.

The industry has witnessed quite a lot of unorganised players and a mere lacking number of brands which see it as a wholesome opportunity. This has surely proven a breakthrough for solo players like Rayban, Lenskart, Titan Eyeplus, GKB Opticals and Himalaya Opticals to adapt the changing consumer trends and enjoy the bliss of the hour.

What Consumer Wants

India, despite having such a huge number of population which requires optical aid and adding to the fact that it will definitely increase in the upcoming times, India did not had enough players which provided high quality frames and lenses in good affordable prices. Brands like Titan and Himalaya Optical have created their place in the industry by achieving the trust of the consumer.

However, the contradiction states that the times are changing and the peculiar process to reach the end consumer is now observing the new ways to reach the consumer with an ease of accessibility, affordability and a promise of providing a trustworthy qualitative product.

Devansh Binani, Director, Himalaya Optical “We have introduced several informative applications at the consumer interaction level to make the consumer understand the advanced elements of ophthalmic lenses and their benefits.”

The Omni Channel Approach

At a moment when the penetration for the eyewear market was at its least, the industry was dependent only on unorganized distributors aiding to the major of the business coming from the tier II and tier III cities and these small eyewear retailers did not have any brands for the mid segment. This was the perfect moment for a brand like Lenskart to fit in and solve the problems of the end consumer catering from creating budget brands till eradicating any middle man and till understanding the crux of the business with the mindset of the Indian consumer. Lenskart made its entry as an e retailer providing eyewear solutions for the Indian consumer and is currently holds the largest number of offline stores around the country, whereas, Himalaya Optical entered the business close to 80 years ago and have now also started to sell its products through various online portals hence proving that the brands want to reach the end consumer through any way possible.

Bansal “I think that the industry is definitely moving towards hybrid models, it means that online companies are going offline and offline companies are going online. I think it is more to do through making the same product available and touching consumers at various touch points, while they are home or while they are shopping in the mall.”

Enter the Industry-Go Franchising

Various players in the industry are providing franchising opportunities to the people who want to enter the industry and share the piece of the pie. “We have dedicated teams to consistently support our franchisee catering from setting up the store till the start of the operations. The guidance includes training programs, inventory management, advertising and other vital aspects” Said Binani.

The retail leaders of the eyewear industry offer an opportunity under a moderate investment and have proven to create their space in the Brick and Mortar retail. While currently Titan Eyeplus operates 300+ stores proving to be the leading offline retailer, the hybrid player i.e. Lenskart operates close to 200 offline stores and Himalaya optical currently surfaces 80+ stores around 49 cities of the country.

The Bright Future

As per Industry Veterans, the eyewear industry will grow with a rising pace as the number of people using smart phones is also increasing and the introduction of technology such as virtual reality will also create a lot of opportunity for the new age retailers.

Related: A biz vision for clear profits

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