Why Clearly Contacts has its sights set on bricks and mortar retail

December 02, 2013  |  Kristin Laird  |  Comments

ClearlyContacts.ca CEO Roger Hardy says the decision to open bricks and mortar locations in Canada is more about boosting brand awareness than a bottom line.

“If we don’t sell anything from our Toronto store, we’d be happy. It’s not about the dollar bills, it’s about the exposure and getting in front of customers and serving them,” said Hardy, of the Queen Street shop that opened in November.

ClearlyContacts.ca opened its first North American retail location in Vancouver earlier this year as merely a touch point to connect with consumers and educate them about the brand, said Hardy, who founded the B.C.-based company in 2002.

“In the end it has turned out that it really is a successful retail location, and customers like to come in try, browse and buy,” he said. In September, ClearlyContacts.ca reported that in-store sales had increased month over month by as high as 20%, and was generating over $2,000 per square foot. This led to the launch of a second Vancouver location and the opening of the Toronto shop. Hardy is seeking additional storefronts across the country.

Hardy said having physical retail locations allows ClearlyContacts.ca to gauge consumer satisfaction and ease the minds of those who may be daunted by the prospect of ordering corrective lenses online.

Despite having over two million Facebook fans sharing their feedback on the brand, Hardy says there’s nothing better than “face-to-face [interactions] with customers and hearing what they like and don’t like.”

Hardy firmly believes that what consumers do like is having the opportunity to purchase from multiple channels: bricks and mortar, mobile applications and online. “We’re trying to be present where people are looking for a retailer to provide products.”

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