Features: Accessories

Sep
2007

THE ACCESSORIES ADVANTAGE

No question. Optical accessories are essential. Readers help us read. Cases and chains protect eyewear. Cleaning cloths keep product functional. They are also true fashion accessories— fun and stylish. Color coordinated frames, cases, chains and even lens cloths pull a look together. And they help round out a sale. Carrying a breadth and depth of eyeglass accessories can increase both sales and customer base. Here retailers and accessories’ vendors talk about The Accessories Advantage.

By Gloria Nicola with contributions by Melissa Arkin
Photographs by Karen Schuld


Clockwise from top left: SYDNEY LOVE Reader 8309 from Evolution Eyes; READER 5004, striped reader with coordinated case, from Hilco; SULTANA, hard case, from LBI Cases & Accessories; ROXY, cat eye reader, from Corinne McCormack

"I never sold accessories until I met Corinne McCormack [owner of Corinne McCormack, an optical accessories company] and she taught me how to merchandise accessories to go with individual purchases. Now in addition to the complimentary cases we provide with each frame, we also present a selection of cases, chains and contact lens care products that coordinate with the eyewear for those who want to have additional fun with their wardrobes. We teach our customers they can change a look just by having different eyeglass cases—one for the office, one for evening, another for the weekend. It’s an easy sale because there are so many stylish—and very important—quality optical accessories available. Chains instead of being purely functional retainers now look like jewelry and can actually double as a necklace, bracelet or ankle bracelet when not being used to hold glasses.”"
RUTH DOMBER, OWNER, 10/10 OPTICS, NEW YORK

"Our accessories sales have increased over time, mostly because there is more variety and neat styles out there. I sometimes do accessories as giveaways. If we’ve made a mistake or don’t get something in on time, I’ll throw in an extra contact lens case. I also give them occasionally to long-time patients to show appreciation."
--CLARISSA BROWN, OWNER, BELCHERTOWN EYECARE, BELCHERTOWN, MASS.

"In retail today accessories are out performing clothing because accessories— whether they be shoes, handbags or watches—are functional add-ons, but they also make a major fashion statement. For the optical market, eyeglass accessories are an easy add-on sale. This is especially true now because color has entered the accessories market in a big way. We are no longer limited to black, brown and maybe blue eyeglass cases and cords. All the colors and patterns available to the fashion world are also enhancing eyewear. “One of the key reasons for the increased interested in optical accessories is people are spending a lot of money on eyewear. They want to protect it with the proper accessories and they also want to be able to update and coordinate their look with the change of season. Accessories are a perfect, inexpensive way to do this and are perfect for the optical business because they encourage multiple sales.”
—KRISTEN REGINE, PRODUCT MANAGER FOR CONSUMER GOODS, HILCO, PLAINVILLE, MASS.


Clockwise from left: MOD HANDLE CASE from Astucci U.S.; CONTACT LENS CASE SC-3018B, wallet-style case that holds two contact lens pairs and mirror, from California Accessories; READER HA027 from Seeqa International; LOREE RODKIN Eyewear Necklace from Sama Eyewear

“Accessories are a great way to increase revenue. 1) Accessories are giftable 2) They are impulse purchases and can be bought in increments—customers may buy one pair of eyewear and two or three chains, cases and readers—and come back for more. 3) Accessories are ideal for the time-starved shopper who wants to find everything in one place. Optical needs to think of itself as a category killer, like Office Max—one-stop shopping where consumers can satisfy all their optical needs, from cleaning materials to chains, cases and readers. To do this, retailers must merchandise appropriately with eye-catching accessories displayed in hightraffic areas. The selection of accessories, too, should be changed several times a year and offered in seasonally appropriate colors to encourage on-going sales.”
—CORINNE MCCORMACK, FOUNDER/OWNER, CORINNE MCCORMACK, INC., NEW YORK

“Eyeglass accessories are good point-of-purchase items. I have a freestanding board that I display the accessories on. We also have cases, sun clips, chains and cleaning items on display throughout the store. I find eyeglass chains and sun clips are the best-selling accessory items.”
—LARRY FRANKEL, OWNER/OPTICIAN, EYE SUPPLY, PORT JEFFERSON, N.Y.

 

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