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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