Prescription Eyewear Ltd, the parent company of MyOptique.com, SunglassesShop.com and GlassesDirect.com, announced today that it has added LensOn, the leading Nordic online contact lens seller, to its growing portfolio of market-leading brands.
- LensOn is the leading independent online contact lens seller in Northern Europe, operating local language sites across Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, France and the UK
- The acquisition re-affirms the Prescription Eyewear group as the clear European leader in the growing online optical segment with a full offering covering all three major segments in the eyewear market (prescription glasses, sunglasses and contact lenses)
- The deal will also expand PEL’s already significant geographical footprint across Europe, with now more than 60% of sales coming from outside its home market in the UK
- Total annual unique visitors to the group’s websites in 2012 numbered approximately 8.2 million across 100+ countries and local sites in 12 different languages
- The combined group will have generated nearly £30m ($45m, €36m) of Gross Retail Sales in 2012 and is profitable
- Through November 2012 the group has served over 750,000 total customers, and currently ships over 2,000 pairs of glasses, sunglasses or contact lens orders a day, equating to a customer order shipped every 40 seconds
- Total staff in the group now numbers nearly 140 in the UK and Sweden
Founders Kim Persson and Johan Bergenheim will continue to manage the LensOn business and drive growth for the whole group in the Nordic region. The European eyewear market is estimated at over €25bn of which currently only 3-4% is online. As the optical market follows other high-growth ecommerce categories such as fashion and apparel towards online penetration rates closer to 10%, the Company has identified a €3-4 billion opportunity in the European online market over the next 3-5 years.
Prescription Eyewear Limited’s CEO Kevin Cornils comments, “We’re extremely excited to be adding the LensOn team and business into our portfolio of brands including Glasses Direct, Sunglasses Shop and MyOptique. LensOn has established itself as a strong player across the Nordic region and we look forward to working with them to grow their business not only into new European markets, but also to complement their current contact lens offering with prescription glasses and sunglasses. The deal also solidifies PEL’s position as the clear market leader in the fast-growing European online eyewear category and positions us well to take advantage of the significant shift we’re seeing as consumers increasingly choose the internet for the choice, value and convenience that it offers.”
Kim Persson, CEO of LensOn remarked, “PEL and its businesses will be a great partner for us as we look to continue our rapid growth across the Nordic markets and beyond. Their expertise and leading position in selling glasses and sunglasses online will enable us to greatly accelerate our efforts in those markets and provide a full-service offering to our customers. We also look forward to working with them to extend our business into the UK and continental European markets including Germany and France where the opportunity is significant.”
The LensOn acquisition caps a busy year for the PEL group that saw;
- The recent launch of myOptique.com, the first-of-its-kind premier eyewear site, offering a carefully curated mix of premium glasses and sunglasses featuring the world’s most sought-after brands for both men and women
- The launch of Sunglasses Shop into the US and Australian markets, bringing its international sales to over 50% of revenue
- The launch of Glasses Direct’s latest internally designed and developed house brand, Scout, brings the total number of created brands to 3, including the popular London Retro (vintage-inspired) and Element (eco-friendly)
- The addition of Dean Butler, founder of Vision Express (now part of the HAL group) and Lenscrafters (now part of Luxottica Retail) as a Non-Executive Director to its Board of Directors
The acquisition was financed by Prescription Eyewear’s existing venture capital investors, Acton Capital Partners (Etsy, Zooplus, MyTheresa, Linas Matkasse), Highland Capital Partners (VistaPrint, Qihoo, Lulu Lemon, Starent, Quigo) and Index Ventures (Skype, mySQL, Net-A-Porter, ASOS, Etsy, LoveFilm, Last.fm). Additional funding was received from GP Bull Hound Sidecar, Silicon Valley Bank and Kreos Capital. The company was advised by GP Bullhound on financing and Wilmer Hale on legals.
About the Companies
Prescription Eyewear Ltd’s portfolio includes the following market-leading websites:
Founded by Jamie Murray Wells, Glasses Direct is the UK’s leading online glasses retailer having established the market by focusing on innovations that transform the way that people buy glasses. Glasses Direct strives to offer its online customers a better experience than the high street, offering:
- Better Choice – Customers can browse hundreds of fashionable and affordable frames from designer and own-label collections. With the Unlimited Free Home Trial, you can try on your favourite frames in the comfort of your own home and get opinions from friends and family without the sales pressure.
- Unmatched Convenience – Glasses Direct gives you the choice to browse for frames whenever and wherever you want. Have your glasses delivered direct to your door, without having to travel back and forth to the opticians.
- Bigger Savings – Glasses Direct has saved the bespectacled British public over £40m to date. Customers can also receive a Free Second Pair on ALL frames costing £55 or more that that can also be used for friends and family.
- Faster Delivery – With 70% of orders shipped within 3 days from our own UK laboratory, customers receive their glasses when they really need them, rather than collecting them from the store in a couple of weeks.
- 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed – Glasses Direct offers free 14 day returns if you’re not satisfied with your order for any reason – or customers can talk to our helpful team of qualified opticians at any point.
Recently launched luxury online eyewear brand MyOptique.com is the new online destination for premium eyewear, offering a carefully curated mix of premium eyewear for both men and women
- The site hosts a range of designer brands including Prada, Miu Miu, Ray Ban, Gucci, DVF, Versace, Michael Kors, Dolce & Gabbana and Thierry Lasry
- The team at MyOptique is passionate about providing the best optical technology available as well as the most luxurious online experience for time restricted consumers looking for unrivalled expert advice and up to the minute eyewear trends
- MyOptique provides inspiration for the discerning eyewear customer through its ‘Trends’ and ‘Eyewear Icons’ content and offers personalised advice through its Style Advisors to give the best possible customer experience
Founded by Kim Persson and Johan Bergenheim, LensOn is the leading independent online retailer of contact lenses and accessories in Northern Europe.
- The company sells contact lenses through local language sites across Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, France and the UK, with over 50% of sales outside of its home Swedish market
- With over 130 brands and a range of more than 60,000 SKUs, LensOn has one of the broadest online selections of contact lenses and accessories in Europe. In addition, LensOn sells its own private label of coloured lenses and various contact lens accessories under the name of ‘by LensOn’
- Approximately 95% of all orders are shipped the same day of order and on average 5 orders get processed every other working minute
- An innovative partner program with opticians across Sweden enables LensOn customers to book a full range of eye exams online at lenson.com
- Value-added services developed in-house including a subscription option, re-packing for easier delivery, ‘ClickandReload’ for returning customers and express delivery are examples of the Company´s constant innovation to provide the highest levels of customer service in the market
- A mobile interface adapted to smartphones enables the customer to order contact lenses on the run in less than 30 seconds
- Being highly appreciated both by customers and industry, LensOn has been awarded numerous times for its customer friendly offer and business growth
- LensOn is located in Stockholm, Sweden, with 30 employees
LensOn is acquired from Nordic private equity fund Verdane Capital V, venture capitalist and company Chairman Jan Looström, the company’s founders, Kim Persson and Johan Bergenheim, amongst other investors. Verdane Capital Advisors has over 25 years experience in the venture capital and private equity market as advisor to Verdane Capital funds.
For further information please contact Jessie@wingfieldpr.com 0207 627 1894
Posted on: December 12th, 2012 by Sarah
In order to celebrate National Eye Health Week, Glasses Direct bring to you some helpful tips to keep your peepers in check.
Uncorrected vision problems can progress, and wearing corrective glasses that are no longer right for you can cause vision problems and severe headaches. Once you’ve got them checked, come and visit us online with your prescription at hand and buy online and save. BIG TIME.
2. In summer, always wear sunglasses.
It is proven that UV rays can seriously damage your eyes, but good quality sunglasses can prevent this damage. When buying sunglasses, make sure that they block at least 98% of UV radiation.
And don’t be shy in wearing your sunglasses on cloudy days as well! Clouds might provide shade, but they are no barrier for UV light. In a nutshell, Clouds are basically water, and water is UV-transparent.
Shop Karl Lagerfield’s collection at Glasses Direct, here.
3. Eat what is good for you and your eyes
The good news is that there are no foods that would be harmful for your eyes. Most foods don’t affect your eyesight at all but vitamins of the antioxidant group can prevent age-related conditions like macular degeneration and the development of cataracts. Vitamins C, A and E, folic acid, selenium and zinc are definitely beneficial for the health of your eyes. So put a carrot and a bunch of grapes into your lunch box!
4. Feel good in your glasses.
When you’re choosing your glasses, don’t treat it like a chore or necessity. Make it a treat and take time to enjoy the process of working out what suits your personal style and facial features. Invest in picking the perfect pair and you’re more likely to feel good in your frames and wear them not just when you’re supposed to. A recent surge in popularity, glasses are fast becoming the new ‘it’ accessory, so embrace the trend.
5. When you read or work on the computer make sure that the light is right.
It is a common knowledge that working with poor light can cause eyestrain, but light that is too bright can do as much damage too, so make sure your eyes don’t feel like they are straining or squinting.
6. Give your eyes a health break
Did you know that people blink about 25% less often whilst using a computer than usual, causing dry eyes? Make sure you have a break from your computer, of if that just isn’t possible some days, then close your eyes and count to 5 before opening them whenever your computer decides to take its sweet time doing something. If you train yourself into the habit, your eyes should feel much better at the end of your working day.
Lastly, make sure that you enjoy wearing your glasses and feel great in them!
Try before you commit and take advantage of Glasses Direct’s FREE Home Trial and select up for 4 frames at a time to be sent to your home/office
Posted on: September 18th, 2012 by Sarah
With clients such as The Arctic Monkeys, This Is England’s Vicky McClure, Ellie Golding and Eliza Doolittle, Sara Darling’s CV reads like our dream dinner party guest list. Working with some of the most eclectic and creative set of individuals that British talent has to offer, Darling was an obvious choice for our Faces Of Scout ad campaign when it came to working with our faces and their wardrobes.
Darling gives us her view on things post shoot with a recap on the optic industry’s exciting new eye candy, set to make things that little bit sweeter.
‘When I heard new eyewear brand Scout were launching in the UK, and were looking for a stylist for their campaign, I began to get excited!
Having worked on shoots on the brand’s creators at Glasses Direct before, I knew that they would have come up with something special, resulting in a top selection of frames, along with some sassy models to compliment them. However, this shoot contained the sassiest yet!
As Scout Eyewear has been designed and inspired with the attitude of ‘anything goes’, the models were chosen for having the same kind of attitude when it came to their wardrobes. Hunted out and selected via the competition set to ‘Find The Faces of Scout’ where entrants sent in pics of their style over twitter and facebook; the entries were endless! So, on a grey rainy day a few weeks ago, five lucky winners were informed and the process of styling them working with their own individual looks began…
None of the competition winners were models, (but that was the beauty of this competition- all about style, not about perfect cheekbones and honed and toned torsos) and all varied in their style with many a cheeky tattoo and piercing! They also all came with bags of energy! However this might have been something to do with my bulging suitcases full of stylish treasures to style with!
I had only had their photographs and question and answer sheets to work with. And this must have been a tough decision when the Art Director and the Scout team had to whittle down the potential faces from the vast entries…these models had not been seen in the flesh! But they all photographed amazingly well and had a desire to be in front of the camera and had a certain je ne sais quoi….
Their style icons ranged from Audrey Hepburn to ‘my nan’ and their jobs ranged from trainee chef to bar worker and tattoo artist, so the banter was eclectic and electric!
Self confessed “messy” Sadie wears a lot of vintage and is not a shy girl, so the cocktail shirt and multi coloured jacket are from her own collection of clobber, but with the 80s always in fashion at Beyond Retro, you can pick up similar, one of a kind pieces there.
Her necklace is from the Star Cross’d Lovers collection by Bobby White and is clashed up nicely by the neon orange HipHop watch. And just to make it even more mis-match, her girly side is highlighted with a cheeky Das La Vie tutu, with battered cream Chelsea boots and socks from Beyond Retro.
Liv on the other hand is a much more delicate creature, her jumpsuit is a not so subtle star number from New Look, which I added a 70s poncho from Beyond Retro, black turban from Topshop and jumbo pink Ice watch to complete the look. With style icons including Alexa Chung, her taste is very eclectic!
Alessandro fell in love with pretty much all the pairs of glasses from Scout Eyewear on offer; and his style worked well with the preppy frames. His floral denim jacket is by Horace, cross necklace from Topshop and T shirt by Topman, and creepers by Underground, which now has a spangly new store in Berwick St. Finished off with a Simeon Farrar cap and silver necklace from the Bobby White collection.
David is a big clothes fan, and spends a lot of money on shopping! His top is from Asos, shorts by everyone’s favourite Ragged Priest, red cap is New Era, pink Caterpillar boots by Martine Rose and socks by American Apparel.
For her second look, Sadie wears jacket by Turkish designer Zeynep Tosun, chain patterned leotard is Urban Outfitters, black trousers with gold piping are Beyond Retro, black and gold heels are by luxury footwear label Cleo B- also hot in the AW collection are cassette tape style heels which are so much fun!
Liv sticks to her girly style and wears the colour of the summer canary yellow dress from Topshop, coupled with a vintage gekko embellished patent belt and studded leather jacket. Her Clarks union jack boots add to the urban feel and she is topped off with a cheeky red bow and jewellery from Bobby White.
Alessandro is wearing a streetwise Varsity jacket by Crooks and Castles, a green t shirt by American Apparel, tie dye shorts from Beyond Retro and a gold dove necklace by Bobby White.
David’s last look is vintage rockabilly with tweed trousers and braces from Beyond Retro, pink t shirt- Simeon Farrar; shoes by Ted Baker and turquoise watch by HipHop. He states it was difficult to chose his favourite frames, but when pushed he decided on the festival with the blue edge.
Our fifth model Keely is a professional tattoo artist, who was a big fan of the sixties; Not wanting to pigeon hole her I dressed her up in Beyond Retro tartan trousers and big bovva boots from PPQ at Office, coupled with a chiffon shirt and jacket and fur hat from uber cool Italian label Cycle.
She also slipped fabulously into a pencil skirt and buttoned up Fred Perry polo shirt, which just hinted at her tatts, but really it is more about the glasses! Her favourite frames are the Marylin tortoishell.
Regardless of the grey backdrop, the day was a resounding success and we survived the Great British weather.
To read more from Sara, click here
Posted on: July 10th, 2012 by Sarah
We love Jennifer Aniston. Not only is she a great actor, gorgeous and the owner of an A-MAZING wardrobe, she’s also a fan of glasses. So she gets the TEAM GD thumbs up as far as we’re concerned.
Shop The Ronnie Frame, HERE
The Wanderlust star was papped last week with beau Justin Theroux wearing over sized frames to shade her baby blues from the glare of the camera. But the spec-wearing beauty had her prescription glasses at hand (well, round her neck to be precise) and had opted for an on trend aviator shape that is having an bit of an eyewear moment. A fail-safe sunglasses frame option for Tinseltown’s regular residents, the aviator silhouette’s timeless style credentials have seeped into the prescription eyewear realm once again, adding a retro-vibe to the safest of attires. Take a look at aviator silhouettes at Glasses Direct, here
Posted on: July 2nd, 2012 by Sarah
Scout Eyewear is a unisex brand that is set to shake up the eyewear world and answer the call for a range of designs that merge current trends with unique detailing. To celebrate our launch we’re looking for a group of faces that embody what Scout has grown from; the need for something that little bit different within the current eyewear industry. So, we’ve been asking you to show us your style. Whatever you’re into and however unusualy your wardrobe maybe, we’d like to hear from you. It doesn’t matter if you wear glasses or not, Scout Eyewear is for lovers of specs- with or without prescription, plus you can add a UV lens to any Scout frame and sport them as sunglasses.
We’ve had some amazing entries for the face of Scout so far, but we want more! Gentlemen, now’s your chance to show off your sartorial talents and tell us about what inspires your wardrobe. Here’s a few entries so far:
Posted on: May 28th, 2012 by Sarah
Fresh style from more Scout stylers. Who’s your favourite for this eclectic lot that we’ve posted so far?
Enter your style at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what makes you and your wardrobe unique. And remember kids, you don’t have to be a glasses wearer to enter.
Posted on: May 25th, 2012 by Sarah
We’re loving the entries we’re getting in for Scout’s debut campaign. We’ll be picking our favourite peeps on 9th June and the shoot will take place in and about London on 12th June where the winners will be working with our team of creatives to show off their own individual style with Scout Eyewear. Check out these lovelies below. Who do you think should be the face for Scout?
Tell us what you think?
Fancy being part of Scout yourself?
Why Not? enter at email@example.com
Tweet us up @eyewearSCOUT
Posted on: May 23rd, 2012 by Sarah
We’ve had some brilliant entries so far for our Find the Face of Scout competition, and we’ve shared a few below.
In the meantime, here’s a quick reminder of what you’d win if you’re a chosen face for new eyewear brand, Scout.
You’ll be the face of Scout Eyewear for its debut season and star in the all expenses paid ad campaign in London on Tuesday 12th June in London. Throughout the day you’ll work with super stylist Sara Darling who’s styled The Artic Monkeys, Eliza Doolittle and Roisen Murphy (ermm, wow!?) who’ll be working with your own individual style to create the looks for Scout’s debut collection. PLUS, you’ll be given a FREE pair of Scout specs with your prescription or UV sun lens for every month of the year. That’s a lot of glasses people!
Remember, we aren’t looking for model looks or prom-queen perfectness. We want individuals with style that really packs a punch! Enter now at Scout@glassesdirect.com BEFORE 9th June and place your stamp on style!
Posted on: May 22nd, 2012 by Sarah
Since giving you guys a hollar about our search for some seriously stylish people to star in Scout’s debute ad campaign, we’ve had a great response!
Gents, you seem to have come over all shy, so we’re still waiting to hear from you but ladies, you’ve done us proud! here are a few of our favourite entries so far:
Now its your turn- We want to hear from you and your style! We’re not looking for the next top model, but the most individual, stylishly fabulous faces that will wear Scout Eyewear with their own lick of individuality. Drop us an email now at Scout@Glassesdirect.com. Details are below!!!
Posted on: May 15th, 2012 by Sarah
We’re looking for the new face of our new brand Scout.
Scout Eyewear boasts an eclectic mix of bold and on-trend frames that need an equally individual face to wear them. On 12th June, we’ll be shooting our Scout campaign and we’re looking for some seriously stylish people to star in the campaign. Is this you?
Love your own style?
Great. Then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with some pictures of your fine self in your favourite get-ups, telling us why you’d like to star in the Scout campaign- just a few lines will do, just so we can get an idea of your vibe. The winners will be pampered by our style team, all expenses paid for the day and win a year’s supply of Scout glasses- with a prescription, clear lens, UV sun lens or all three! The choice is yours!
Competition ends midnight 9th June 2012 and the winners must be available to attend an all day shoot in London on 12th June 2012.
Posted on: May 14th, 2012 by Sarah
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