Level 28 will become the latest mber of The Optical Co (TOC)’s roster of brands, which already includes the likes of Kevin Paisley Fashion Eyewear, and Stacey & Stacey Optometrists. However, company CEO Mr Colin Kangisser said the new retail business model would be different from anything else currently found in the optical marketplace.“[It] is the one and only concept store which we believe appeals to a wide dographic by offering a wide range of eyewear. Level 28 has been developed from our studies of optical trends both internationally and locally and we are confident that with our experience in the optical industry, in both private and listed businesses, we will make Level 28 a great success in Australia,” Kangisser said.The unusual name is specifically designed create a brand image that differentiates itself from traditional optometry practices and generates intrigue amongst consumers, while Kangisser added the reference to the number 28 had great significance.“We wanted to get something unique, something different that would catch a person’s eye and make th quite inquisitive about it. It’s a whole different way that we want to market and present the brand,” he said.“There’s a lot of meaning behind it. If you want to look at, for example, the optical side, 20 over eight is the best vision a human can get, and 28 also has very strong meaning as a number, it’s got a lot of power behind it.”The business is expected to have six bricks and mortar retail stores in the capital cities when it launches later this year, but that number will be contingent on finding suitable locations. However, once established Kangisser believes Level 28 has the potential to gradually expand to more than 40 sites nationally.“We have a design tplate in place already which is very consistent across the whole brand, so it will be quite easy to roll th out once we have those locations available,” Kangisser said.“Ideally we’d like to open th at the same time to have the greatest impact. But it will depend on the finalising of lease agreents, as well as making sure we do secure the best locations, because we’re not going to compromise on locations or look at any secondary sites.”The stores thselves have been described as a “studio, gallery environment” that will aim to offer a whole new shopping experience, while the sleek frame styles will be provided by a team of international designers. Aside from millennials, the business will also hope to have a large enough range to appeal to a wide range of dographics.The initial launch will also be accompanied by a website, in order to achieve a “truly omni channel shopping experience”. Meanwhile, apart from the fashion elents of the business, Kangisser said eyecare would be of paramount importance and that the business would be built on the foundation of optometric services.Aside from Kevin Paisley Fashion Eyewear (12 stores) and Stacey & Stacey Optometrists (four stores), TOC runs two stores under its own name, plus Prevue Eyewear (two stores) and nib Eyecare (six stores).The vertically integrated optical group also owns online retailer Glasses Galore, and suppliers nib Eye Safety, OCO Eye Safety and Australian Eyewear Distributors.
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