пятница, 21 сентября 2007 г.

Opticians and specialists

Opticians vary in their stocking policy for non-prescription sunglasses. The majority, including some of the largest such as Dollond & Aitchison , continue to only sell prescription lens sunglasses. By contrast, certain other multiples, such as Vision Express and David Clulow , offer extensive ranges of premium brands, while other smaller multiples and independents such as Collison vary in their approach, perhaps stocking just a small number of premium brands, occasionally supplemented by less expensive models. Black & Lizars , the small Scottish multiple, specialises in sports sunglasses alongside its expertise in spectacles for sport. In addition to its own outlets, the upmarket optician David Clulow has in-store outlets for sunglasses at Selfridges and Harrods , in addition to a specialist sports sunglasses department at the latter. This retail category also includes a small number of upmarket independents selling their own designs in eyewear including the French Alain Mikli (also available in selected David Clulow outlets), Cutler and Gross and Kirk Originals .

Since those opticians that do sell non-prescription sunglasses usually specialise in more upmarket brands, their average retail price will considerably exceed that across the total market (and the same will also be true of most prescription sunglasses). They have therefore benefited from the broader trends which have favoured the premium brands, and the retail sector as a whole could benefit from greater involvement in this market.

The Sunglass Hut-Watch Station group has also boosted this retail category. The company has 55 outlets and was instrumental in introducing newer US fashion names in particular. More importantly, its introduction has widened the availability of upmarket brands in general, so maximising potential sales. More specifically, the company has done much to bring upmarket fashion brands to the attention of younger buyers in the high street and shopping mall, especially younger men given its bias towards sports brands such as Maui Jim , Arnette and Killer Loop , as well as others such as Ray Ban . Outlets have also smoothed their sales curve through the year by running most in combination with Watch Stations, and the fact that it is now part of Luxottica will give it assured backing for any future developments.
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среда, 5 сентября 2007 г.

Sunglasses Fashion

Sunglasses may be seen as ever more firmly embedded as part of the accessories sector. This means that not only do haute couture and increasingly numerous other fashion designers include them as part of their product range, as has long been the case, but the market includes an ever more diverse range of accessory or clothing specialists now including sunglasses within their portfolio. That said, such brands do not necessarily sell large volumes and their distribution is often limited. Examples range from the sports-oriented such as Reebok , Nike and adidas , to young accessory brands such as Guess and Diesel , more mainstream accessory companies - Kenneth Cole or Anne Klein - and retailers themselves from the largest - Marks & Spencer - to smaller operators such as the jewellers Agatha . It is not surprising that Oakley - as one of the more successful 'younger' sunglasses companies - should have developed an extensive complementary range of clothing and other accessories which could be expected to sell well to its established customer base. Fashion also performs another role. While it may be argued that it is the high-fashion names that are leading the way, at virtually all price points there has been an acceleration in the pace of change with fashion now playing such a vital part. This both meets consumer demand for a fashionable and stylish product, and stimulates further demand in itself so both forces of supply and demand are working together to reinforce growth, especially at higher price points. Although more classical shapes and finishes are always available, more radical shifts are now introduced each year making (for the most fashion-alert buyer) pre-existing sunglasses more rapidly outdated. This factor has made a significant contribution to promoting unit sales over time within all parts of the total market, as well as accelerating the product purchase cycle. This development is particularly relevant to high-fashion names since this would be intensified by the fact that their typical customer is likely to be far more fashion-aware than average and prepared to pay more and buy more frequently.

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