I’m talking about sports, or, more specifically, the sport eyewear category in the optical arena. At 20/20 we very specifically target sport eyewear in a big editorial way in this issue each year, although the range of products available and brands at the forefront from numerous vendors is detailed to an increasingly greater extent every month.
It’s really a no-brainer for us in the same way it should be for you. And here’s why.
Sunwear in any way, shape or form needs to be faced and accepted as a rapidly growing facet of optical dispensing and retailing. It is your responsibility to provide the best sunwear to every one of your patients. And beyond that responsibility all signs indicate consumers LOVE sunwear. If you’re with me so far that game plan easily covers the whole fashion and lifestyle branding aspect, putting you right on par and ready to take on those department stores when it comes to selling sunglasses.
But the sporting aspect of sunglasses is a whole new layer of both responsibility AND opportunity. Sport eyewear
is technically and functionally on a stratospheric level of scientific accomplishment that leaves fashion eyewear on… well… on the runway when it comes to delivering performance. And that high level of achievement takes place in the lenses, the frames, the cases and the marketing in a retailing and prescribing occasion best satisfied by a top eyewear/care professional.
Many of the leading sport eyewear brands do muscular business in a range of sporting good specific locations. In recent weeks I visited a good number of both bike and surf shops with significant displays of sport eyewear specific to the shop’s specialty. And I must note the assistance provided by knowledgeable sales help was always exemplary in matching up performance characteristics to consumer needs. All of these shops delivered advice FAR exceeding the help one normally encounters when searching for fashion eyewear in a department store.
So your competition here in these sport specialty stores can be significant. But no one should be able to challenge you as an optical professional suiting up a patient/consumer with the perfect pair of sport eyewear. It won’t be easy but it will be rewarding. As I said at the starting line: If we can do it… YOU CAN DO IT.
James J. Spina