(Source: Inside Retail Asia | 09 February 2017)
Online eyewear retailer SmartBuyGlasses has opened a physical store at Kennedy Town.
Located beside the suburb’s MTR station, the store displays and sells well-known designer brands of eyewear.
The store, the first in Hong Kong, marks a step from online to offline which the company’s co-founder David Menning describes as “an exciting new chapter for the team” after operating 10 years as a pureplay online retailer.
“Our distribution centre has been based in Hong Kong since we started out in 2006. Quite often we get members of the public turning up at the office itself looking to buy products directly from us, so it was clear there was an opportunity here to do something bigger that would serve the Hong Kong public directly.”
Menning says the new store reflects the brand identity and entrepreneurial spirit of the SmartBuyGlasses team. “Using their access to the world’s most famous eyewear brands, SmartBuyGlasses has created a unique space where customers can try and buy top sellers and all time classics at the best prices anywhere in the city.”
He says the decision to branch out into brick-and-mortar stores reflects the wider industry omnichannel trend, which involves brands and businesses linking their online and offline strategies in order to provide a truly comprehensive customer experience across all touch points.
“For us, omnichannel is a key area to focus on in order to provide a truly localised experience for our customers around the world. We felt that 2017 is the right time to make this leap, and we decided to begin this journey in Hong Kong because our roots run deep here and we wanted to give back to the community that has helped us build our business from a start up to a global leader in eyewear retail.”
SmartBuyGlasses is an independent eyewear e-tailer, with websites in more than 30 countries. Through its Buy-One-Give-One program, the company donates a free pair of glasses for each pair purchased on its website to a community in need via a network of not-for-profit partners across the globe.