Australian eyewear retailer Oscar Wylee is expanding into Canada this fall with six store locations and more to come over the next 12 months. The brand will be entering a market that is already crowded with value-priced eyewear retailers which have been opening in recent years.
The brand says that is it known for its high-quality, affordable eye glasses and eye test services. Oscar Wylee already has over 100 stores and over 800 team members across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
Oscar Wylee’s first Canadian store opens Tuesday September 21 at West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton. A second store will open at the Halifax Shopping Centre in October.
And in November, the retailer will open four more locations in the Calgary and Toronto markets with details to come. Over the course of 12 months, the company is expected to open many more locations across the country as part of an aggressive growth strategy.
In a statement, Oscar Wylee said that the retailer “has no plans of slowing down, with preparations for new store locations constantly underway. Be sure to keep an eye out for an Oscar Wylee arriving near you.”
The family-run company began as an e-commerce business and in 2015 after acquiring the company, brothers Jack and Bob Teoh opened the brand’s first physical stores in Australia. The stores are designed with a clean and modern aesthetic that aim to create a relaxing experience.
A joint-venture program allows the company to grow by partnering with optometrists to offer patients quality professional eye care and an exceptional retail experience. Designs are considered to be “modern, fresh and fashion-focused” and the brand is known for its “2 Pairs From $199” price point for both its optical and sunglass ranges.
Oscar Wylee in a release said that with a focus on employee benefits, the retailer will provide its Canadian optometrists with generous daily minimums, uncapped earning potential and qualified support staff. As well, each new store will be fitted with top-quality DRS and Visual Field equipment to provide staff and customers with a quality optical testing experience.
Broker Tony Flanz of Think Retail is working with Oscar Wylee in Canada. Oscar Wylee is said to be looking at retail spaces in the 700 to 1,000 square foot range in shopping centres and on busy high streets near noteworthy fashion and general merchandise retailers. Markets targeted include British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.
Oscar Wylee’s move into the Canadian market comes at a time when numerous other value-priced brands are also expanding in the market — both homegrown and international. Montreal-based BonLook for the past several years has been aggressively opening new store locations, while international entrants Warby Parker, Bailey Nelson, Ollie Quinn, Mujosh and others also seek to grow market share. UK-based SpecSavers also recently entered the Canadian market and we’ll be reporting on that next week with more details.