Business Overview

A glasses store sells eyewear that can be either corrective, protective, or just fashionable.  Stores can be structured in two different ways: they can serve clients who were referred to the shop by established medical eye care practices, or they can be a full service store with an optometrist on staff.

Walk-ins with an up-to-date prescription or who are simply shopping for fashionable eyewear will also comprise a large portion of your clientel. Glasses have made their comeback as a fashion trend, making now the perfect time to enter into such a business venture.

Who is this business right for?

Eyewear professionals or individuals who are passionate about fashionable eyewear should consider entering this industry. Since much of the day is spent consulting clients, this profession is best suited for entrepreneurs who enjoy working with and helping people.

What happens during a typical day at a glasses store?

The specifics of your daily tasks largely depends upon the role you plan to take within the company. Many optometrists expand their practice to include eyewear sales, in an effort to increase profit margins. If this is your vision, a majority of your day will be spent in the exam room. In fact, entrepreneurs who choose this route advise others just starting out to hire a skilled optician to manage this aspect of their business. A financially savvy optician should be experienced enough to ensure quality goods and services are delivered to each client. If you’re not a medical eye professional, your days will be structured a little differently. If you have the necessary optician experience and knowledge, you could take on the management role yourself.

Duties would include:

  • Analyze goods costs
  • Set retail prices
  • Negotiate with vendors
  • Oversee staff to ensure they’re knowledgeable and capable of offering outstanding service
  • Marketing
  • Networking with medical eye professionals in the community

If your vision includes taking a more hands-on approach, a day on the floor would include the following activities:

  • Consulting with the client to identify their needs. This encompasses inquiring about their day-to-day activities to determine what type of frames would be best suited for their lifestyle. s
  • Conduct eye wear adjustments
  • Measure and fit frames
  • Prepare work orders

Upon opening your store, you’ll likely want to take on the role of administrator as well. This reduces overhead expenses, setting the business up for financial success. As the business grows, you can employ an assistant to handle these administrative tasks.

What is the target market?

A study conducted by the Vision Council of America revealed that almost 75% of adults require vision correction of some kind. 64% of those polled prefer glasses over contacts. These individuals will comprise a large portion of your client base. Children and teenagers in need of corrective lenses will also come to you for assistance. Additionally, many eyewear stores serve the consumer with 20/20 vision who is shopping for glasses to complement their wardrobe or complete the look they're striving for.

How does a glasses store make money?

A glasses store generates revenue through the sale of each pair of glasses. Some charge a fee for services such as eyewear adjustments, while others offer these services free of charge.

If your company also employs a professional optometrist, you can also make money by offering eye exams and basic eye care at a competitive rate.

What is the growth potential for a glasses store?

Approximately 60% of an optometrist’s revenue is generated from the sale of frames and eyeglasses - a fact every optometrist considering expansion should consider. As glasses continue to increase in popularity, eyewear stores stand to realize persistent sales growth. Franchise opportunities with well-established enterprises such as Sterling Optical and Pearle Vision offer entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to build a robust business. Many realize such great success that they’re able to open multiple stores across the country.