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Aussie Eyewear Retailer Bailey Nelson Continues Rapid Canadian Store Expansion

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Australian eyewear retailer Bailey Nelson continues to aggressively expand its footprint in Canada as the company is on a mission to make eye care simpler, more fun and stylish for all Canadians.

Its newest store was opened recently in Calgary’s CF Market Mall – the company’s 15th location in Canada – and is a clear indicator of the consumer demand for Bailey Nelson’s high-quality products and one-stop shop eyecare services.

The company opened its first Canadian store in Vancouver on Robson Street in June of 2017.

PHOTO: BAILEY NELSON (CF MARKET MALL)

“It’s been a relatively rapid build out for us,” said Nick Perry, company founder, adding that the company has 68 locations globally.

“We’re planning to open seven to eight locations this financial year. We just opened RBC Plaza in Toronto and we just opened Park Royal in West Vancouver. CF Market Mall is the third and we’re planning to do seven this financial year which ends in June 30 because we’re in the Australian year.

“Our longer-term goal is we want to be at 50 locations in the next three years or so in Canada. I’m incredibly proud and grateful for the team of people that we’re working with and the reception that we’ve had from Canadian consumers.”

PHOTO: BAILEY NELSON (CF MARKET MALL)

Founded in Bondi Beach in 2012, Bailey Nelson has quickly grown into a global brand lead by an incredible team with boutiques in Australia, London, Canada and New Zealand.

The company believes that buying glasses should be one of life’s pleasures. So it created a formula to make it one.

“Put simply, buying glasses should be one of life’s pleasures. And we’ve created a formula to make it one. We start with a process that’s clever and honest. We use it to craft eyewear that’s both beautiful and affordable. And we hire people who are passionate and genuine. It’s not rocket science. It’s just caring enough about what you’re doing to do it right. We strive to deliver fantastic eyewear frames at a reasonable price, backed up by great service. Our vision is to improve the eyewear industry every day; and whilst we’re at it, we hope to empower individuality and self-expression through our beautiful, affordable eyewear, inviting stores and incredible people. So that’s us. That’s Bailey Nelson,” says the company on its website.

Perry said Bailey Nelson’s consumer is on average 30 to 31 years old.

PHOTO: RETAIL INSIDER

“We do skew slightly lower than that in some instances and we get many young people that bring in their parents because the price of our multi-focal is about half to a third what you’d pay at (other places),” he said.

“We’ve been warmly received in Canada because people are looking for other options out there. Traditionally when we were launching the business in Australia it didn’t feel like a modern retail offer and it didn’t really speak to young people. It was sort of overly medical and it didn’t seem like a modern kind of retail offer and it also didn’t speak to that young sort of segment of the market that wasn’t as concerned necessarily about their health aspects. They just wanted a great service, fairly priced, delivered by really passionate people.

PHOTO: BAILEY NELSON

“What sets us apart is we’ve got an optometrist – a passionate optometrist in every location – so we just don’t want to be a cheap pair of frames to buy online. We want to sort of be the solution for you for your eyecare and eye health needs for the rest of your life. If you come to us, you get a modern retail experience. It’s fun. We’ve got passionate staff. And it’s a much, much better price than what you would get elsewhere.”

PHOTO: BAILEY NELSON

Perry said the company had to adjust its product for the Canadian market. The company’s product and design engine from the beginning was really geared toward serving the Australian market.

“Traditionally speaking in Canada, the eyewear replacement cycle is kind of three years. Traditionally you’re going every couple of years and then you’ll convert because it’s a high commitment, expensive purchase. We have very passionate staff and we’ve got great high-quality products but it’s very fairly priced because we design and manufacture. We only sell our own products. We’re noticing that people are coming back every eight to nine months. So, we’re really sort of changing that buying cycle because we’re making it an attractive purchase.”

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He now works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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