Online eyewear retailer lenskart plans to open 2000 offline stores across India, significantly up from its current 100 stores. The company aims to redefine the complex eyewear category by having an robust omni-channel presence.
“We plan to have around 2000 stores in the near future; we are adding approximately 2-3 stores per week to get to that number,” Peeyush Bansal, CEO and Founder, Lenskart.com told Indiaretailing.
“We follow a franchise model, therefore all these stores will be franchisee owned,” Bansal added, without divulging any timelines for the store openings.
The company currently has 100 stores spread across more than 66 Indian cities , including in tier II and III locations such as Agartala, Tirupathi, Siliguri, Raipur, Haridwar and Varanasi, among others.
Founded in November 2010, Lenskart started as a pure play online retailer and moved on to open its first franchised brick and mortar store in 2014.
“Eyewear is not an impulsive purchase; most consumers do not purchase eyewear as they are not aware that they need it. This makes eyewear a very complex category and is more of a planned purchase done once in two years. By having a healthy mix of all the elements (both online and offline), we want to increase the touchpoints and be able to reach maximum number of consumers,” Bansal said.
“E-commerce without doubt helps one to scale up the business but some consumers still need to be assisted and encouraged to buy eyewear online. Whether a customer visits the store, calls for home service or directly buys online, the presence of an offline store helps the customer to look at and feel the products and services. Thus, developing a sustainable business model with a seamless integration between online and offline models is imperative for the eyewear category,” he added.
Lenskart adopts an assisted e-commerce model where some of its customers directly purchase online, some need help on the path to purchase and some need post purchase assistance.
Lenskart has grown more than 200% year on year in the last two years, to be among the top three optical businesses in India today. From an initial investment of Rs 30 lakh, Lenskart has now become a Rs 360 crore company.