Luxury Shop Rundown
With so many shops opening, it has become difficult to keep track of the who, what, where, and when of it all. To help put things in perspective, here's a roundup of some of the key players in the luxury boutique expansion.
Optical Player: Alain Mikli
Current Number of Shops: Mikli has 25 shops globally, including five in US, nine in Europe, four in Hong Kong, one in Taiwan, and eight in Japan.
A Brief History: The first shop was opened in Paris on rue de Rosier in the fashionable Marais district in 1987; it remains at that location today. According to Mikli retail director Jill Blumenfeld, this was the first time an eyewear designer opened their own store. Mikli's bigger global retail rollout began in earnest in the year 2000.
Planned Future Expansion: According to Blumenfeld, 15 new shop openings are planned each year until the company reaches a global portfolio of 70 retail locations. North America, China, Europe, and the Middle East will be the focus.
Optical Player: Modo
Current Number of Shops: Two in New York City, including one Modo shop in the trendy NoLiTa neighborhood and one Eco Eyewear shop in Greenwich Village.
A Brief History: The Modo store opened in May 2008 and the Eco store, located next to New York University and made with recycled building materials, opened in June 2011.
Planned Future Expansion: "We do not have plans to expand the stores," says Allessandro Lanaro, president and CEO of Modo Eyewear. "We are simply using them—and learning from them—as a lab."
Optical Player: Mykita
Current Number of Shops: Six shops worldwide, including locations in Berlin, Vienna, Paris, Z�rich, Monterrey, Mexico, and Tokyo. The company also recently opened new shop-in-shop concepts in Mexico City and in Berlin at the renowned fashion multi-brand store Murkudis.
Planned Future Expansion: "We want to grow organically, so our expansion strategy is quite selective," says CEO and Creative Director Moritz Krueger. "More stores are in the pipeline, but nothing that we can reveal at this moment."
Optical Player: Oliver Peoples
Current Number of Shops: Eight, including locations in Tokyo, New York, Chicago, and San Diego. Oliver Peoples also has three in-store boutiques located in Bergdorf Goodman in New York, Ron Herman in Los Angeles, and Nieman Marcus in Beverly Hills.
Optical Player: Orgreen
Current Number of Shops: One store in Copenhagen
Planned Future Expansion: None. "Our business is to design and develop frames, not to be a retailer," says Henrik Orgreen, founder of Orgreen Eyewear. "Therefore we do not have any plans for opening new shops
Optical Player: Sama
Current Number of Shops: Three. The Destination: Sama flagship eyewear boutique is located in Beverly Hills and two additional locations are in Rome and West Hollywood. Sama also has a number of store-within-store locations at its retail partners.
Planned Future Expansion: While the last several years have not been kind to the retail world, Sama remains optimistic about future possibilities. "We plan on opening more Destination: Sama eyewear boutiques and stores-within-stores in the near future," says Sheila Vance, CEO and designer for Sama eyewear. "We're currently scouting locations worldwide, with an emphasis on the Far East."
Eyecare Business, Issue: November 2011