The FINANCIAL — Oversized glasses, glasses decorated with different materials, and in different bright colours are the main trends for sunglasses in 2010 say leading opticians in Georgia Roniko and Kenari. The most popular brand is Ray-Ban, the sales of which peaked in Georgia in 2009 when 3,000 were sold.
“At present the fashion has gone back to the 50s and 60s: round, so-called John Lennon glasses, the style of the Blues Brothers and Aviators. As well as these a variety of multi-coloured, blazing and combined material glasses are in fashion,” says Roland Javakhia, General Director of Roniko.
“Together with oversized glasses, and those decorated with different combined materials, great attention is being paid to high-quality lenses,” he adds.
“As well as the massive-shaped glasses, small sized classic models are also in style. The shape has never been as varied as it is this year,” says Mary Kvelashvili, Marketing Manager of Kenari.
“This year active, bright colours dominate in the new collections of famous designers. However classic shades such as black, brown and beige never go out of style, and it is worth mentioning that they usually show the best sales too,” she adds.
“The priority in choosing the material of glasses is given to light high-tech materials such as acetate, titanium and aluminium,” says Kvelashvili.
“The main function of glasses is to protect the eyes from ultra-violet rays and to be comfortable for the individual, only after that do style and fashion come in to the equation.
For the past ten years glasses having gradually been moving away from their core function and have been adopted instead as an item of jewellery,” says Javakhia.
“The main determining factor when choosing a frame is to consider the sizes and distance between centres, these are the main criteria, other factors are less important and the individual can choose the shape he/she prefers and which suits them best,” says Javakhia.
Roniko reported a 30% decrease in total sales in the year 2009 compared to previous years. In low price frames, up to 100 GEL and in terms of actual lenses the company saw a serious increase in sales. The best sold were Gemini brand frames.
However, high price glasses could not compete and due to this fact Roniko saw a decrease in their sales.
Kenari declared that despite the economic crisis, the company showed a 7% increase in sales. Kvelashvili mentioned that the activity of Kenari 1+1 together with their loyal customers kept their sales fresh.
Out of the high-price collection the lead brand is Ray-Ban and its model Aviator. Roniko, as the official representative of Ray-Ban in Georgia, reported 3,000 unit sales in Georgia in 2009.
“The most popular brands for sunglasses are FERRE, Silhouette and Ray-Ban, their sales are equal at Kenari. In terms of prescription glasses the leader is Silhouette. Moreover, it is remarkable that our indicator is as close as it is to European indicators,” says Kvelashvili.
“Roniko has direct contact with its suppliers. We work without an intermediary, we are first-tier customers for the companies that are selling glasses, due to this fact we offer better prices to customers than other European countries that do business via an intermediary,” says Javakhia.
Both companies said that at present customers the sales of glasses are exceeding the sales of contact lenses. However, the tendencies and sales in lenses are increasing every day.
Javakhia says that in Georgia 70% of the population have a problem with their vision caused by pressure on the eyes, either from ecology or daily lifestyle, however out of that number less than 15% wear glasses. He says that this is due to stereotypes and people being shy of wearing glasses, due to this fact for some people contact lenses are the best alternative.
“At present there is more demand for glasses, however, day by day the sales of contact lenses increase. The fact is that for most people it is much comfortable to use lenses than wear glasses,” says Javakhia.
Kvelashvili says that like the tendency throughout the world in the Kenari chain the sales of optic glasses are considerably higher than the sales of contact lenses and explains it by the fact that there is a wider range of choice for optic glasses than lenses.
“We enrich our portfolio annually. For example, starting from February we introduced a new variety of contact lenses from Maxima Optics. That is a British company with a very interesting product and price range,” says Javakhia.
Kvelashvili says that Kenari offers anti reflective lenses and Ciba Vision contact lenses for astigmatic seeing.
“Contact lenses are not a substitute for glasses. They are alternative methods of correction, that compared to glasses have a wide range of advantages. Moreover, there are even cases where the correction of a defect in vision can only be achieved by using lenses,” she says.
“In previous years there was a tendency for the best lenses to be of 1 year usage; but now in the whole world as well as in Georgia the higher quality lenses are for 1 month or 1 day usage.
Short term usage of contact lenses is better for reasons of hygiene. We offer a variety of new generation high quality contact lenses from the world’s leader Ciba Vision, like AirOptx, Night&Day, and FreshLook,” says Javakhia.
“In Georgia coloured contact lenses are very popular especially in youngsters. Due to the fact that most Georgians are brown eye-coloured, when choosing lenses they generally prefer green, grey and blue colours,” says Kvelashvili.