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
Best of luck and have a smashing Jubilee weekend.
Posted on: May 29th, 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
Guys, its that time again. We want to hear what you’re reading and what you think!
So email us your hardback/paperback/Kindle reviews to email@example.com along with a snap of you and your read to enter.
We’ll post your review and then all you need to do is share the post on facebook/twitter and email it out to get your friends, friends of friends and friends of friends to comment. Its really rather simple. The deal is, which ever review gets the most posts, WINS a Kindle Touch.
Competition ends on midnight Sunday 24th June. Send your reviews to firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on: May 23rd, 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
Ok, so we could be completely wrong here (and we’re not too proud to admit it when we are wrong) but we’re pretty sure that Tim Burgess, he of Brit Pop stature and heart throb status is sporting a pair of Sherlock frames from London Retro.
What do you think?
Snapped below sporting skinny jeans and dip dyed hair, the Brit Pop original has spoken candidly about his mad times with Dannii Minogue and The Smurfs, ditching drugs and booze – and penning some particularly ‘graphic and descriptive’ passages for his memoir ‘Telling Stories’.
Any excuse to turn up the cool Britannia tunes, we’ll be reading his memoirs whilst digging out our army jackets and adidas gazelles, and of course reporting back on our GD bookworm page, so keep your eyes peeled. Let us know what you think if you read it yourself too!
Shop the London Retro Collection here.
Posted on: April 23rd, 2012 by Sarah
One of our favourite bloggers eye-wear-glasses.com popped in to see us at our recent press event and to check out what we were up to with London Retro and take a look at our eco range Element. With a constant finger on the eyewear industries pulse, Eye-Wear-Glasses Founder, Rob is a seasoned pro when it comes to spotting whats new in opthalmics.
First hand experts and tough task-masters when it comes to passing the test in creating stylish, yet functional eyewear, there was a collective *phew* and a few sporadic air punches when we spotted that we’d made the cute and been added to their gallery of eyewear and sunglasses. Take a look at the feature, here.
Shop The London Retro collection, here
Posted on: April 12th, 2012 by Sarah
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