Eyecare Business

OCT 2016

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B U Y E R ' S F O R U M 30 E y e c a r e B u s i n e s s . c o m October 2016 Perfect Vision Sight Optical Boutique embodies eyewear's independent spirit ichael McConnell does not fear the virtual world. While many optical shop proprietors bemoan the existence of such online retailers as Warby Parker, this eyewear industry veteran sees an opportunity for the small independent to stand out. Specifically, McConnell emphasizes that carrying a collection of superior frames and offering personalized service are the real difference makers for the independent optical. Indeed, both of those are vital components of his shop, Sight Optical Boutique. Situated in the East Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids, MI, among other small, independent businesses and some excellent restaurants, the shop offers a dis- tinctive collection of frames and such high-touch services as a concierge for busy customers. Here, McConnell discusses how he thinks online retailers and independent shops will m converge, the importance of staying on top of industry trends, and why customer service is a true difference maker. eb: What's the philosophy behind Sight Optical? mm: After working many years on the wholesale side, I was able to get a valuable glimpse of how many successful shops across the country ran their businesses. I wanted to try to apply that collective knowledge to what we do at Sight. When we opened the shop five years ago, we had really only one goal: to bring quality indepen- dent eyewear to the city of Grand Rapids. To do that, we went back to our peers in the industry and largely worked with brands with which we had a close and personal relationship. This is about much more than just selling frames. We also take pride in giving each and every customer the best possible service. You can't compete solely on price any- more. This is why I think quality and personal service will be paramount to the independent optical shop's success. Michael McConnell The interior of Sight Optical Boutique

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