Premium eyewear brand Lenskart, which operates with an omni-channel retail model, has plans to invest $4 Mn more to set up more offline stores for one of its major brand John Jacobs.
Reportedly, the company has already invested $1 Mn in the brand. The push towards scaling the brand further is on lines with the company projections, which expects the revenue from John Jacobs to reach $78.1 Mn (INR 500 Cr) by FY 2020-21, from the current $15.6 Mn (INR 100 Cr) in FY17-18.
Peeyush Bansal, founder of Lenskart said, “India needs a premium brand for eyewear but one that is not extremely expensive. John Jacobs is a trendy designer eyewear brand, that is fast creating a name for representing top international styles at affordable prices.”
John Jacobs currently has five stores in India and Lenskart is looking to add 20 more offline stores for the brand by the end of 2018. The preferred cities for the new stores will be Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR amongst others.
The brand is also sold online and on 400 retail touchpoints of Lenskart. The company is also trying to bolster the brand sale by partnering with large format retail stores.
“John Jacobs has teamed up with Italian design house—Mazzucchelli for material and design partnership. Its range is priced at $54.67 (INR 3,500) onwards. Going ahead, in the next 2-3 years, we are looking at 50-odd stores across Tier I cities,” added Peeyush.
Earlier in July 2017, an ET report stated Lenskart’s plans to expand its offline presence from 300 stores to 600 stores by March 2018. Peeyush also indicated his plans to float an IPO by 2020, in order to provide an exit to the existing shareholders.
An email sent to Lenskart founder Peeyush Bansal did not elicit any response till the time of publication.
Lenskart: Strengthening Roots On Both Online And The Offline Front
Lenskart Solutions, formerly known as Valyoo Technologies, was launched in 2010. It started as an online platform but soon adopted an omni-channel strategy. It now deals in manufacturing, assembly, distribution, and supply of products such as eyeglasses, power sunglasses, and contact lenses.
The company has so far raised $129.6 Mn and is backed by investors such as PremjiInvest, Ratan Tata, IDG Ventures (exited partially with over $30 Mn funding round in September 2016), IFC, Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, TPG Growth, amongst others.
Since January 2017, when Lenskart reported a massive 78% rise in its losses for FY16-17, the company has been aggressively formulating strategies to increase its sales and create value for the brand.
In order to become profitable, the company is strengthening from the roots and is focusing more on the utilisation of technology to create dominance in the $3.12 Bn (INR 20K Cr) eyewear market of India.
For instance, Lenskart partnered with a California-based startup to launch 3D Try-On, a feature that lets people try frames virtually. Also, in December 2017, it acquired a minority stake in Israel-based tech startup 6over6 for $1 Mn, with an aim to change the vision care globally.
So far, the company’s strategy to expand its offline retail store network while making the consumer-facing app engaging with technology, as been able to entice the millennial generation.
With the expansion of John Jacobs brand stores, it will be worth watching if Lenskart will be able to stand out on its claims of being operationally profitable for the Fy17-18 as well.
[The development was reported by LiveMint]