Independent contact lens network looks forward to bright future
The UK’s only specialist contact lens franchise has announced its first partner. Chineham Centre Opticians in Basingstoke have become founder members of the Oculus Contact Lens Centre network.
The founder of Oculus, Jeff Jacobs, has big ambitions for the independent optician sector. By focusing on the untapped contact lens potential within their practices, Jeff is helping independent opticians to fight back against the national chains which dominate the high street.
Chris Cox has owned Chineham Centre Opticians since 2006. Chris is familiar to many professionals in the optical industry having worked for some of the UK’s leading contact lens manufacturers such as Hydron, Johnson & Johnson and Sauflon.
“I am passionate about the contact lens industry and yet I’ve never focused on that area in my own practice,” explains Chris. “When I met Jeff and we started to talk about Oculus Contact Lens Centres I could immediately see how being part of the network could benefit Chineham. Jeff’s practice premises are a quarter of the size of mine and yet his turnover is about the same: this is because he has a successful, professional contact lens model which benefits patients and his business.”
The Oculus approach is based on putting the value back into the dispensing of contact lenses. Firstly, investing time to fit patients with specialist lenses that suit their particular needs; giving thousands more people the option of contact lenses. Secondly, recognising the value in the patient care and professional expertise that opticians deliver. By securing increased numbers of contact lens patients and locking them in for the longer term by paying by monthly direct debit, opticians can achieve more balanced cash flow and generate the sustainable profit which is essential for business planning and growth.
“Chineham is a mid-sized practice and we actually have a decent contact lens business; however we are not proactive in how we manage this,” continues Chris. “With the support and training we’re getting as part of the Oculus network we will have the skills and expertise to fit hundreds more people with the latest lenses on the market so that they have the choice to wear spectacles or contact lenses, or both! Our aim is simple; to be known as the experts in contact lenses in Basingstoke.”
Whilst Jeff Jacobs is planning to make Oculus a household name, he has no desire to take over independent opticians. “We respect and value independence which is why the Oculus brand will sit alongside the Chineham Centre Opticians brand rather than replacing it. Chris has thousands of loyal patients and our aim is to help him offer them a specialist contact lens service. As professional opticians, our aim has to be to get our patients to trust us to take the very best care of their eye-sight. The Oculus brand is all about developing that trust.”
“We will be helping Chris to adapt his shop with a new Oculus display centre that will complement his own Chineham image. We’re also installing a bespoke practice management system and will be providing Chris with a brand new website to act as his Oculus online shop window. In addition to the preferential rates we’ve negotiated with the world’s leading lens manufacturers, Chris will also be selling our own-brand Oculus soft lenses which have been developed to out-perform some of the industry’s leading branded products,” says Jeff Jacobs.
Chris Cox continues; “We’re committed to offering our patients the best possible contact lens service: we won’t charge until we’ve found the perfect lens for them and I’m confident that existing and new patients will respond well to this approach. I share Jeff’s view that trust is paramount and I‘m confident that being part of Oculus will take my business to a totally new level.”
Opticians interested in finding out how being part of the Oculus network could help their business become more successful should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01603 762620.