Aussie Eyewear Retailer Oscar Wylee Continues Aggressive Canadian Expansion with 1st BC Store [Interview]

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Renowned Australian adult and children’s eyewear brand Oscar Wylee has expanded its Canadian footprint to British Columbia with its first store opening in Richmond.

Oscar Wylee currently has 139 stores worldwide, with eight of these located in Canada.

“Oscar Wylee does research to determine where we believe our products and services will have the most appeal. We typically look for a high foot traffic area with decent population coverage, and we seek areas that are vibrant, popular or up-and-coming,” said Craig Levy, Oscar Wylee’s CEO.

Oscar Wylee at CF Richmond Centre (Image: Ritchie Po)
Oscar Wylee at CF Richmond Centre (Image: Ritchie Po)

“Our plans for Canada are bold, and we believe we can bring alternative choice and competitive pricing to the Canadian eyewear market. We have eight stores at present and we could potentially grow to between 20 and 30 in the near future.”

Levy said the company takes in many key factors in making a decision to open a new store.

They include:

  • Local community – who is the local market we can serve and what are the opportunities and shortfalls in the location today?
  • Marketing – are we able to educate and bring awareness in the area and what marketing channels are available for OW to market with?
  • Competition – is their room for us to enter the market and what are the barriers to entry?
  • Rent affordability – does our model allow for us to pay the desired rent required and will this provide a profitable model?
  • Optometry and opticians – what is the available pool of skilled health professionals available for OW to offer eye exams and eyewear prescription fulfillment?
Oscar Wylee at CF Richmond Centre (Image: Ritchie Po)

“What sets us apart from other brands is that we bring stylish and trendy frames to the eyewear market without the costs that comes with expensive brand names. Our ongoing price of two pairs from $199 and the hundreds of eyewear styles we offer ensure that anyone can find a frame at Oscar Wylee. We also believe in providing affordable eye care for everyone, which is why we offer eye examinations in all of our stores,” said Levy.

The new BC store opened at CF Richmond Centre, offering  a complete optical service with an in-house optometrist, alongside its full offering of over 300 SKUs of premium unique customizable frames and UV protective sunglasses, all handmade for each consumer at an affordable price point.

Image: Oscar Wylee

The Oscar Wylee collection can be viewed online at: www.oscarwylee.ca or at any of Oscar Wylee’s brick-and-mortar locations across Canada including CF Sherway Gardens Mall (Toronto), CF Chinook Centre (Calgary), CF Market Mall (Calgary), West Edmonton Mall (Edmonton), Halifax Shopping Centre (Halifax), Oshawa Centre (Oshawa), CF Markville (Markham) and CF Richmond Centre, BC.

Tony Flanz of Think Retail represents Oscar Wylee in Canada and is negotiating lease deals for the retailer.

Mario Toneguzzi
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 is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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