Luxottica Eyewear, manufacturer wholesaler and retailer of eyeglass and sunglass stores has unveiled their new concept eyewear concept store in Melbourne, Australia. Trying to pull itself out of the recession, Luxottica, the $6.6 billion eyewear company with retail outlets like Sunglass Hut and LensCrafters, is experimenting with a concept store that draws a little bit from Apple, and a lot from Disneyland. (Wall Street Journal)
The EyeHub’s idea is to make buying eyewear more of an event — and in the process, entice new customers from discount chains and online shopping.
Designed by international award-winning architects E2, also the designers of London’s landmark Millennium Dome, the revolutionary store concept has been designed to place the customer at the centre of the store experience.
Luxottica Group’s CEO Andrea Guerra said the company’s long-term goal is for this concept to be adapted globally. There are plans for more stores in Australia to debut in the next two to three years, and additional stores could in the future be opened in key markets such as China, the UK and the United States.
“We are confident that our first OPSM eye hub will be a huge success and lead to future openings in worldwide markets,” said Mr. Guerra. “With the features the new store concept has to offer consumers, quite simply it sets new standards for international retailing. Naturally, we also believe this will be the next step in eyewear retailing in particular and look forward to bringing this concept to consumers around the world.”
With a simulator room for testing glasses and sunglasses for glare and wind resistance, a product vault featuring stunning and exclusive designer glasses visible from every area of the store, touch-screen interactive mirrors that allow people to play back their new look, a secure play place where parents can leave their kids while they shop, the concept store reflects the next generation in experiential shopping.
Luxottica conducted extensive customer research and spent two years planning and designing the retail experience so that it feels highly personal and welcoming for customers from a wide range of demographics. Through research Luxottica solicited not only what customers want in a retail experience, but what they do not want, which is reflected in the final design and layout. The OPSM eye hub concept store reflects Luxottica’s continuous commitment to innovation and high technical and stylistic quality to ensure customer well-being and satisfaction.
Chris Beer, CEO, Luxottica, Australasia, South Africa & Greater China, added: “Typically retailers tell the customer what’s going to happen when they walk in the store. This first-of-its-kind concept relies on the customers dictating their own shopping experience, including telling a concierge meeting them at the door how they want to shop and what they want to spend time on. The best thing about this store is that it will be a unique experience for each customer.”
“The OPSM eye hub concept store raises the bar for all retailers to deliver exactly what customers want through an immersive experience,” said Mr. Beer.
International retail futurist Ian Pearson, who invented text messaging while working as British Telecom’s full-time futurist until 2008, believes there will be a significant shift in how retailers engage with customers to compel them to physically visit a store. With customers placing increasing value on their time, stores must invest reciprocal time preparing for and serving the customer – what Pearson calls the “care economy.”
“What I saw today at OPSM eye hub is a first-of-its-kind retail concept that focuses on five-star service, and a very enjoyable customer experience,” he said.
Technology is at the forefront of the eye hub with touch screen interactive mirrors that allow people to playback their new look and see what they look like with full clarity of vision.
Sports enthusiasts and pro-athletes alike will put their eyewear to the test in the Oakley Pressure Chamber and REVO Elements Room, complete with a custom made wind tunnel and variable light settings.