Essilor unveils its plans for Coastal.com
Wednesday, April 30 2014 | 00 h 00 min | News
Essilor unveils its plans for Coastal, as the integration process for this recent acquisition gets underway.
Coastal founder Roger Hardy will act as advisor for the next three years, but Roy Hessel will serve as CEO, while remaining president of online initiatives for Essilor.
“The Internet complements traditional distribution channels, which remain the only ones able to provide added value in taking measurements and supporting wearers,” said John Carrier, president of Essilor of America, in an interview with VMail. “We are vigilant that the development of online sales in the optical industry does not come at the expense of wearers’ safety.”
Consequently, Coastal will continue with simple prescriptions and Essilor, whose name will not be visible on the Coastal website, will not add Varilux to Coastal’s product mix. “This brand requires the professionalism of ECPs,” said Carrier. Coastal will nonetheless be able to offer Transitions products.
Furthermore, Essilor will halt the “physical” expansion of Coastal’s stores, which had begun to open brick-and-mortar stores in Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Essilor even plans to divest itself of these stores.
The program of giving away free pairs of eyeglasses with a purchase will also be stopped. It would not reflect the value of optical industry services, according to John Carrier.