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April 2018

Style-Eyes A unique way

Style-Eyes A unique way to sell more Tapping into the ‘pop-up’ phenomena BY RENEE LUNDER* Commerce has rapidly changed over the past decade and the optometry game is not immune. Today, many customers begin their eyewear search online rather than in traditional storefronts, especially when it comes to the younger generation. Social media plays a huge part in their buying decisions too. To ensure you’re adequately tapping into this burgeoning market, here’s an interesting and yet innovative way you may not have considered to help you increase your revenue. Why try a pop-up? hold too much merchandise. People understand the exclusivity of a pop-up so don’t expect you to have more than one of anything! Fashion update Jono Hennessey The latest releases from Jono Limited Edition includes the 2018 Liberty of London fabric collection, transformed using Hennessy’s unique technique of fabric lamination to create these beautiful new models. Both are available in three different colours featuring Liberty’s classic paisleys and garden-inspired designs, including gold detailing. Distributed by Phoenix Eyewear. Ogi Eyewear Neubau Ogi’s latest releases are a continuation of the brand’s statementmaking styles and bold colour options. The masculine, larger frame is designed with marbled acetate and accented with subtle stainless-steel temple detailing, and is “ultra-wearable,” said the company. While the delicate, cat-eye silhouette of the other model, pictured here, is available in subdued pastels, with transparent touches of acetate in a primarily translucent frame, making it beautifully balanced. Distributed by BTP DesigNZ. A glimpse of the future was on display this year at Neubau’s MIDO stand, where the company launched its new 3D-printed frames. The 3D printing process allows for exceptionally precise detailing, environmentally sustainable production and the highest standards of quality, said the company, for example, fine details and textures appear like engravings, all of which would be hard to achieve in conventional manufacturing. Neubau’s 3D models will be available from April in seven striking colour finishes combined with stainless steel in gold, silver, rose, black ink and black ink matte. Distributed by Euro-Optics. Carter Bond Also by Jono Hennessy, Carter Bond’s new luxury vintage collections include this lightweight stainless-steel frame; classic and stylish, it’s available in matt and shiny finishes. Distributed by Phoenix Eyewear. At its most basic level, a pop-up is a small, physical store with an expiry date – think temporary, not permanent. There are many options when it comes to running one, but the most common is a standalone pop-up at an event such as a farmers’ or crafts’ market, or perhaps it’s a way of using a vacant tenancy space within a shopping centre to attract new customers. There are many varieties on the pop-up theme, such as a collaboration with another store (where you take over a small space within their store and you both benefit from increased traffic); a kiosk or booth at a shopping centre or along a busy shopping strip; or align yourself with a specific space or event such as an art gallery or trade show. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination and resourcefulness. For example, an interesting collaboration might be with a local bookstore. After all, bookworms often wear glasses! Each space has its own pros and cons but the good usually outweighs the bad. The major benefit of a pop-up means you get to target a whole new selection of customers, many of whom may not even know you exist! Depending on the pop-up location, the foot traffic can be considerable and you may also be a novelty attraction (an optometrist selling their wares at a say, craft market) and pull a bigger crowd. One further tip, is to try to pick a location close to your physical store, or within reasonable traveling distance, should customers need an eye test and updated prescription for their new glasses. Or perhaps consider taking the whole kit and caboodle to them, like US-based Warby+Parker has done with its mobile optometry store bus or, closer to home, Auckland-based EyeLove EyeCare’s mobile optometrist service for rest homes. A great way to test the waters A pop-up can help you move old stock, but it may be an even better way to test out a new brand or concept. Perhaps you’ve always had a penchant for funky eyewear or custom work, but never taken the plunge because it’s too risky for your bricks-andmortar store. A pop-up gives you the chance to try it out. You can do small orders of new stock – be it outrageous, one-offs or bespoke – and also keep up to date with what’s on trend without having to Be brave with your pop-up merchandise (Face à Face and Silhouette) Furthermore, by its very nature, a pop-up is not forever. Some are just for one day, at an event of you choosing, so the cost outlay can be kept to a minimum. Others may require more investment with a 30 or 60-day lease for retail space, for example. Whatever avenue you pick, at the end of the exercise, it makes business sense to review success based on foot traffic, how long customers spent looking at particular products, sales conversion rates and general feedback and follow-up from clients. Compare this to your traditional storefront and online sales too (if you have them) to determine viability. Support pop-ups with social media If you like the sound of a pop-up, it’s important to realise its success relies on a thorough social media campaign launched Support your pop-up venture with social media before it, run alongside it and maintained after it. While this may sound a little daunting or labour-intensive, pop-ups really are a fantastic way to generate social buzz, increase your brand awareness and bring more traffic to your website and physical store (especially if there’s a competition or discount voucher attached to them!). Like many of us, you may find yourself completely stuck when it comes to social media. To combat this, considering hiring a student – with or without optometry experience – for a few hours a week to run the campaign for you. A further option is to do some research online about how to run a successful social media campaign. There’s a plethora of blog posts and articles on this verypopular topic. Another great recourse is to get your kids to do it (or a well-loved niece or nephew)! Should you decide to go ahead with a pop-up, start your social media campaign early to build up anticipation. Flog the pop-up on all your social media channels (Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter). Don’t have those? You should get them set up as they are important, especially if you want to capture the youth market. Lastly, it doesn’t hurt to advertise your pop-up using more traditional methods such as direct flyers, local papers and word-of-mouth in your store too. So go on, give it a pop-up! *Renee Lunder is an Australian freelance journalist and proud specs wearer. “They are as much a part of me as my limbs! My children have only ever known me with them. I wouldn’t be ‘Mum’ without them!” Vanni Pantone’s annual celebration of colour, nominated ‘ultraviolet’ as the colour of the year, something Italian frame maker Vanni picked up as a challenge. The ultraviolet that rages on the catwalks and among the 2018 accessory collections is a colour that is both for the strong and more peaceful hearted, said the company. “We think that violet is an unconventional colour that gives a vibrant and interesting look.” The Vanni violet is streaked into the acetates of its Monochromo collection and used as “assertive” block colour in its Colours range. Distributed by Little Peach. Coco Song Coco Song’s new collection introduced at Mido is a tribute to faraway cultures with beautiful colours and dreamy detailing. The Sunset Horizon model featured here has a delicate feather on silk between the acetate layers of the frame front and temples, creating incredible colour contrasts, with semi-precious stones inserted in the enamelled metal profiles. Available direct. Stars and their Eyes… Ella Fitzgerald The first lady of song, Ella Fitzgerald was one of the most prolific jazz recording artists of all time. She began her sixdecade career when she was just 16 years of age. Fitzgerald was famous for her scat improvisation and her almost three-octave range. Throughout her career she won 13 Grammy awards (more than any other jazz musician) and was awarded honorary doctorates, from Yale and Dartmouth, and the National Medal of Arts. Fitzgerald, however, had type II diabetes which had a massive impact on her life, causing vascular problems, congestive heart failure and eventually leg amputation. From the early 1970s, when Fitzgerald was in her 50s, she began to have vision problems from advanced diabetic retinopathy, leading to severe vision problems from her late 60s. AC/DC AC/DC and Vinylize launched the loudest eyewear collection ever at Vision Expo East, New York in March, presenting three different optical frames in three sizes and three sunglass models made from the vinyl of the multi-platinum album ‘Back in Black’ records themselves. Model Hell, featured here, is named after “Hell’s Bells” the first track on side A – an absolute must for AC/DC fans! Available direct. A shy woman, who was very sensitive to criticism, she spent her last years in the garden of her Beverly Hills mansion in a wheelchair with her son and granddaughter. “I just want to smell the air, listen to the birds and hear Alice laugh,” she said. She died, aged 79 in 1996. 24 NEW ZEALAND OPTICS April 2018

Bellinger returns to NZ New Zealand frame distributor Euro Optics has added Danish brand Bellinger to its portfolio. Carl Doherty, Euro Optics’ managing director, says Bellinger is already a familiar brand among high-end independent eyecare professionals and is well-established in Europe and North America. Some New Zealand practices used to stock Bellinger in the past when a previous distributor was selling it, explains Doherty. “We liked the new Bellinger collections and saw an opportunity to re-launch this well-respected brand back into the New Zealand market.” Feedback received from customers so far has been extremely positive, he says. “Bellinger is a top-quality product that prides itself on being different and special. The acetate mixes that Bellinger uses are unique. They add extra textures to the acetate.” For example, some frames have a small amount of glitter mixed into the acetate, says Doherty, through a production technique not that dissimilar to making candy. “The acetate is made of cotton mixed with acetone and alcohol forming a homogeneous dough. It’s filtered, kneaded, heated and finally pushed into large blocks; only then, the creative work with Bellinger techniques begins.” The most amazing effects are obtained by mixing, heating and twisting up to five different types of acetate together until the desired effect is achieved, he adds. Innovative Mido trends Mido is to eyewear, what Oscar night is to cinema,” said Giovanni Vitaloni, Mido president at this year’s event in Milan. Organisers said the 48th Mido event this year welcomed more than 58,000 eyewear professionals and 1,305 exhibitors across three days to seven pavilions, showcasing eyewear, technology and new innovations, the latter being the theme of this year’s event. Mido organisers noted a strong increase in foreign attendees, resulting in a 4.9% increase in overall attendance and 5% in the exhibitor space. Phoenix Eyewear’s Mark Collman, a veteran of 21 Midos, said this year’s fair certainly delivered. “In typical Italian style, especially during Milan fashion Bellinger back in New Zealand Bellinger’s latest range is now available from Euro Optics. ▀ Mark Collman and Phillip Wilson with Robert Morris of William Morris (centre) at Mido week, the event was full of immaculately dressed locals, oceans of espresso and prosecco, gorgeous promo girls, lavish stands plus the occasional sneaky pick pocket.” When queried about the latest trends, both Collman and his colleague Phillip Wilson agreed it’s clear the double bridge metal aviator is back with a vengeance both for men and women. Metal frames were also once again at the forefront of many of the new optical collections, which the Phoenix team thought was interesting as metal frames have long been a great seller in New Zealand and growing still. For all lovers of colourful acetates, however, it’s not all gloom as Collman and Wilson said plastic still pretty much dominates the fashion scene, many in large 70s and 80s inspired oversized looks. “I honestly feel that after a couple of flat years this year’s vibe was the most optimistic and positive I have experienced in recent times,” said Collman. “Everyone we came across supplying the independent eyewear sector were really busy and in great shape which has to be good for the future!” ▀ CPD for NZ DOs at AVC A comprehensive dispensers’ education programme, with CPD points for accredited Kiwi dispensing opticians, will run alongside the optometrists’ programme for the first time at the Australian Vision Convention (AVC) in Brisbane, Queensland from 7–8 April, 2018. Supported by AVC sponsor Rodenstock, the inaugural Dispenser Programme features five sessions on the latest lens technologies, patient communication strategies and advantages of premium lenses: • Resolving non-tolerance issues with digital lenses – Nicola Peaper, sales and professional services manager, Rodenstock • The digital world needs digital lenses, not progressives – Steven Daras, course coordinator, optical dispensing, TAFE • Wham, Bam, Pow. How position of wear measurements will knock your patients out – Leigh Robinson, Consultant and Training Facilitator, Spectrum Optical • Dispensing to enhance sports performance – Helen Venturato, optometrist and principal consultant at Helen Venturato Consulting • Complex cases and compensated values – Grant Hannaford, adjunct senior lecturer at School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW and director, Academy of Advanced Ophthalmic Optics The programme runs from 10.45am to 3.15pm on Sunday 8 April and has been accredited for Kiwi dispensing optician attendees with 2.5 CPD points. For more or to register, please visit: https:// oa.optometry.org.au. ▀ Essilor Transitions’ prize draw A patient from Noel Templeton’s Marlborough Optical practice is the first to win one of three patient prize trips to Fiji, courtesy of Essilor New Zealand’s Transitions promotion. All patients from Essilor-partner independent optometrists who purchase Transition lenses from 1 February until 30 April are eligible to enter one of three-monthly draws to win a three-night package at the Sofitel Fiji Resort on Denarau Island. The draws take place on the 9th of March, April and May, with an independent guest asked to make the draw on Essilor’s behalf. This month, the drawee was none other than NZ Optics’ own editor Lesley Springall. There’s also an additional draw in April for practice eye care professionals, linked to their Transition lens sales. Each prize package includes economy return flights for two people to Nadi from Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch, and shared accommodation at the Sofitel Fiji Resort. Draw Essilor’s Chris Aldous with NZ Optics’ Lesley Springall who was invited to draw the first prize winner in the Transitions Fiji promotion One closed on 28 February; draw two closes on 31 March; and draw three closes on 30 April 2018. Entry is open to all New Zealand residents purchasing Transitions Lenses from selected independent optometrists in New Zealand and limited to one entry per person per pair of Transitions lenses sold. 0800 573 224 April 2018 NEW ZEALAND OPTICS 25