Vision Care Product News

APR 2016

Product information for optical people.

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Page 97 of 115

V C T gander at KANNA in action. Thanks to JINS' competitive prices, the store even does considerable multiple- and second-pair sales as well, including sunglass sales. The company's next move includes opening two new loca- tions this summer, in the Los Angeles and San Jose, CA, metropolitan areas. SEEING IS BELIEVING It's clear that practices that let patients peek behind the curtain of the in- house laboratory distinguish them- selves from the competition. However, getting your own visible lab up and running doesn't need to be as com- plicated as building your very own robot, nor does it need to take up a lot of space in your practice. Modern edg- ing and fnishing equipment has never been more affordable, compact and easy to use. Machines such as Coburn Technologies, Inc.'s Exxpert HPE-810 patternless edger, Santinelli Interna- tional, Inc.'s all-in-one Le 700 edger and Briot USA's Attitude edging sys- tem can ft on a countertop and help your practice stand out. Remember, although it may be dif- fcult for seasoned ECPs and their employees to see the appeal of watch- ing lenses being generated, observing this process is likely a novel experience for patients. They'll be particularly enthralled because they're watching their own eyewear being made from start to fnish. It's a thrilling customer experience they won't soon forget, one that can translate into more business from walk-ins and word-of-mouth referrals. Steve Curry is a freelance writer based in New Jersey. ads, but the lab in the window created a huge amount of word-of-mouth ad- vertising," he said. Consumers did not even have to recall our name; we were 'the place in the mall that makes glass- es while you watch.'" TRANSPARENT 'PROCESS' Although LensCrafters has removed visible labs from its stores following Butler's departure from the company, other ECPs have used similar concepts to great effect. Stanton Optical—an optical retailer since 2006 that just erected its 51 st store in Anchorage, AK, in March—employs visible labs as part of the customer experience in approximately a dozen of its locations. Utilizing lens-processing equipment from Satisloh North America, Inc., Stanton Optical locations with in- house laboratories offer two speedy options for patients who wish to walk out of the shop with their new glasses that same day: A one-hour eyewear service and the company's NOW Ser- vice, which typically yields a pair of fnished eyeglasses within 15-20 mins of placing an order. Stanton reports that it receives a lot of walk-in business simply because the onsite labs at some locations are vis- ible from the road. Patients are in- trigued by watch- ing their eyewear be created from start to fnish. The unique experience tends to lead Stan- ton's patients to refer others to the company's stores. In addition, the company claims that its employees also enjoy having an in- house visible lab, as it allows them to explain lens processing with patients in great detail. EYE, ROBOT JINS Eyewear US, Inc. has also made a name for itself with its remarkable visi- ble lab. The focal point of its store in the busy tourist area of Union Square in San Francisco, CA, is KANNA, a lens- edging robot who made her debut one year ago. Encased behind glass walls, KANNA produces eyewear quickly and effciently—to the tune of 63 pairs per hour—while customers wait. Within a half-hour of placing an order following an eye exam, a patient receives his or her fnished pair of glasses. According to the company, custom- ers love the transparency and turn- around time afforded by JINS' visible lab. In addition, the spectacle provid- ed by KANNA in such a high-traffc area of the city results in both locals and tourists taking pictures of the re- markable robot and walking in off the street. The company reports a signif- cant number of spontaneous and im- pulse buys as people are drawn in to A host of eyecare professionals (ECPs) have generated buzz for their practices by putting their lens processing on display. Seeing behind the scenes can be fun and fascinating to patients who have no idea how their prescriptions get made. IN - HOUSE PIONEERS The genesis of the visible lab occurred with the launch of the frst LensCraft- ers location in March of 1983. "I put the entire lab in the window," said Edward Dean Butler, founder and ex- executive of LensCrafters. "I was the frst to do this sort of thing, which was huge in making LensCrafters take off and become the world's largest optical retailer in only a few years." Butler founded the company with the now-famous marketing prom- ise of delivering glasses "in about an hour," but he had to make consum- ers believe such a turnaround time was possible. "Before LensCrafters, consumers were waiting two weeks for glasses. 'Glasses in about an hour' was a disruptive promise," Butler said. However, at the time, the only way to prove LensCrafters' promise to a dis- believing public was to show them that it could be done. "We put the lab in the window and advertised: 'Come watch us make your glasses in about an hour,'" Butler said. The impact was undeniable. "Con- sumers were fascinated," he said. "Our frst store was in a large mall, and huge numbers of consumers would stand and watch through the window." This unique customer experience is what made LensCrafters remarkable and memorable to consumers. "Most of our marketing was done through TV VCPN VISIONCAREPRODUCTS.COM 96 // APRIL 2016 WHERE TO FIND IT: Briot USA 800.292.7468 • // Coburn Technologies, Inc. 800-262-8761 • // Santinelli International, Inc. 800.644.3343 • • // Satisloh North America, Inc. 800-866-5640 • Santinelli's Le 700 edging station can operate on display.

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