Dutch glasses discounter Eyelove is going to expand into France. The company wants to capitalise on a new healthcare law that is entering into force next year, which obliges opticians to also offer cheaper pairs of glasses.
The first French point of sale is in a Parisian optician's store, as the Dutch company is following its tried and tested strategy to opt for a shop-in-shop model in order to reduce costs. Over time, Eyelove wants to open dozens of such shops in France.
The decision to expand into France has everything to do with a reformed healthcare law, which will enter into force next year. This law will require French opticians to include a number of low-cost glasses in their range, meaning glasses that are eligible for reimbursement by health insurance companies. By introducing this new law, the government wants to do something about the very high prices of glasses in France. According to the authorities, 17 % of low-income visually impaired people do not buy glasses because of the high price.
"We can see lots of opportunities in the French market, because the new legislation will probably result in a huge price war. For many French opticians, lowering their prices to comply with the new law will pose a huge challenge given the cost of running their business. That is why our partner in Paris has chosen to have an Eyelove point of sale. We offer our customers good quality at a competitive price because we produce glasses in large quantities. In fact, our glasses are so competitively priced that we can offer not one, but two, pairs of glasses for the reimbursement allowance amount. This also applies to multi-focal lenses", director Paul Berkelmans says.
Eyelove currently has more than 160 points of sale in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands (combined).