Online retailer Lenskart will set up 100 retail stores across the country over the next 2 years as it aims to strengthen offline presence and compete with local players in the Rs 10,000-crore Indian eyewear market.
Lenskart, which offers prescription-based and fashion eyewear, currently has seven stores in places like Chandigarh, Pune, Agartala and Goa under the franchise model.
“These stores display a large range of eyewear. Customers can choose from them or those available on the website and place order online from the store, helping us expand our brand not just online but offline as well,” Lenskart.Com CEO and founder Peyush Bansal told PTI.
He further said the move will help tap the Indian eyewear market, which gets about 80 per cent of revenues from prescription-based glasses.
“Fashion eyewear is still a small category. About 80 per cent of the sales are still for vision correction and many people are still not comfortable placing orders online for their spectacles because either they don’t know their power or have doubts about how the pair of eyeglasses would look on their face,” he said.
Like any other store, customers can walk in with their prescription, choose frames and the order is placed online by the store attendant, he added.
The domestic eyewear market is dominated by local players with few organised retail chains like Lawrence and Mayo, Dayal Opticals and Titan Eye Plus.
Lenskart has also started a home eye check-up programme, under which the company sends a check-up van to the customer’s premises. Equipped with relevant equipment, the van also has certified optometrists for eye examination.
At present, the service is operational in Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
“Over the next six months, we will cover 20 more cities,” Bansal said.
He added that the company is planning to invest around Rs 25 crore a year towards its expansion programme.
As e-Commerce business is burgeoning in the country, players are looking at connecting with customers not just online but offline as well.
It reinforces the trust factor with the physical feel of products along with the convenience of access to a larger inventory online, Bansal said.
“Spectacles are experiential products, and our focus on providing quality products at affordable prices has helped us gain customer confidence. Today, customers buy power glasses, lenses and sunglasses online on our platform,” he added.
The company, which has received USD 14 million in funding so far, declined to divulge its revenue details.