THE WORLD’S LARGEST ONLINE EYEWEAR RETAILER RECENTLY UNDERWENT A NAME CHANGE. NO LONGER CALLED CLEARLY CONTACTS, THE COMPANY HAS REBRANDED ITSELF UNDER THE NAME CLEARLY.
The company was acquired by Essilor a year ago for more than $500 million leaving the eyewear industry to wonder what the plans were for the online giant. Clearly CEO Roy Hessel offers insight into what the name change, the new direction and a more industry inclusive retail strategy means for the industry and online eyewear retail in Canada.
OP/ Why was it important for Essilor to expand the online division through Clearly?
RH/ Essilor International has a com- mitment to reach the global 2.5 billion underserved people needing vision correction. With the Coastal acquisi- tion a year ago, the company has a tremendous opportunity to reach more people quickly and in ways it could not before. The Internet plays an integral role by widening access to proper vision correction regardless of geog- raphy. Clearly’s online platform is a key enabler to fulfill this global commitment.
OP/ Why was the name change needed?
RH/ When we acquired Clearly a year ago, we gained an amazing platform and an outstanding team. We knew we had a business that had the poten- tial to go beyond selling just contacts and frames at an affordable price to one that could fight poor vision worldwide. The rebrand is our plat- form to celebrate and communicate this new direction with consumers and stakeholders. The company originally started out selling contact lenses and has since expanded its product offering; the name Clearly aligns with our overall mission to help people see clearly, fight poor vision, and make vision care accessible.
We believe the Internet will play a key role in this effort, and Clearly is dedicated to reaching this population with even more vision correction solutions and better access to education about eye health. Poor vision is one of the world’s most easily treatable health care challenges. The change in our name better reflects who we are as a company and value we bring to the customers we serve each day.
OP/ How will the process work? Will customers still order online and have delivered to their home or to the ECP?
RH/ Today’s consumers are more em- powered than ever and we want to continue to be their go-to destination online for all their vision product needs. That’s why we are expanding our commitment to our customers through greater awareness of eye health, and increased offering of quality and innovative products and the ability to purchase where and when they want. Customers can order online and have it has delivered to their home.
OP/ How do ECPs work into the overall ordering process?
RH/ We believe that a good vision correction solution starts first with a good relationship with an eyecare professional. At Clearly, we recommend consistent comprehensive eye exams and believe a proper Rx starts with an exam by an ECP. As leaders in vision correction, we share a common goal with eyecare professionals to ensure access to bet- ter eye health education. The need is great and there is a role for each of us to play.
OP/ How do you address concerns that this may negatively affect the industry?
RH/ As leaders in vision correction, we share a common goal with eyecare professionals to ensure access to better vision health. The need is great and there is a role for each of us to play. We have stepped up and shifted the purpose of our company from selling product at a discount to championing for proper eye health. This only begins with a comprehensive eye exam through eyecare professionals. We have opticians and optometrists in house who will educate consumers on new lenses and proper care for contact lenses.
OP/ How will this improve business for ECPs?
RH/ The need for better access to eye health and eye health education in Canada and around the world is signifi- cant. By working together to address unmet needs, we can affect positive change while growing the market for the benefit of everyone. At Clearly, we have stepped up and shifted the purpose of our company from selling product at a discount to championing proper eye health. This begins with
a comprehensive eye exam through eyecare professionals and it extends beyond that to include better eye health education. We look forward to further engaging and interacting with eye care professionals to better serve our customers.
OP/ When can eyewear patients expect full implementation?
RH/ Most of the changes we have an- nounced are already visible when you visit our website, www.clearlycontacts. ca with some enhancements that will roll out before the end of the year. The biggest difference ECPs and con- sumers will see from Clearly is our focus on good eye health and access to better eyecare products. As the online eyewear market leader, innovation is the how in what we do. Whether that’s innovation on our platform, our prod- ucts, our labs or our technology, it’s in our DNA and keeps us at the forefront in vision correction. We will continue to evaluate and make enhancements to the consumer experience as we go along – keeping in mind that working with the eyecare industry to educate
and promote good eye health is important to our business and our customers as we move forward.
OP/ How will Clearly be different from other online eyewear companies?
RH/ Some online companies offer high-end fashion brands while others focus on value. As the online eyewear market leader, no other e-commerce company has the capacity or the con- viction to address eye health like Clearly. We know today’s consumers are more empowered than ever and we want to be their go-to destination online for their vision product needs. That’s why we are expanding our com- mitment to our customers through greater awareness of eye health, an increased offering of quality and innovative products and the ability to purchase where and when they want.