Our updated product value proposition aims to make it easy for customers to choose from a selection of our affordable, high-quality and distinctive Exclusive Brand products, in-house brands and well-known international brands, which are known as third-party or Non-Exclusive brands.
Our leaner Exclusive Brands portfolio and eyewear performance
Our selection of Exclusive Brands features a range of styles and price points for eyeglasses and sunglasses to suit all tastes, ages and lifestyles. These premium products are a main feature of our commercial strategy that differentiates us from competitors in the marketplace.
In 2020, we concluded a review of our Exclusive Brand eyewear portfolio, consolidating 21 brands down to seven. This review helped us better align with current trends, meet consumers’ changing expectations and optimize our supply chain by decreasing assortment complexity. We repositioned each brand in a distinct way with improved brand equity elements and now offer a curated, desirable product assortment that we regularly refresh.
The following eyewear and contact lens brands represent our Exclusive Brand portfolio that we sell in our global store network:
This portfolio review helped us further simplify our global catalog of Exclusive Brand and Non-Exclusive brand products that we continue to roll out across our global store network. Customers can find these updated products on our e-commerce platforms and in our retail stores. This strategy harmonizes and optimizes our superior product offerings to strengthen our value proposition with faster replenishment cycles and more reliable deliveries.
In addition to our Exclusive Brand eyewear portfolio refinement, we review and improve our Exclusive Brand and third-party collections several times a year to stay updated and meet our customer needs.
The selection and design of our products is based on in-depth consumer research. In 2020, Exclusive Brand frames remained the majority of our optical volumes. This supports our goal to clearly position our Exclusive Brand products and showcase them with more exposure in our stores and on our e-commerce sites.
Consistent global brand promotions across channels
We aligned our Exclusive Brand marketing campaigns in 2020 to ensure a globally consistent omnichannel buyer experience. To do this, we created campaign assets and marketing tools for the first four brands to be reintroduced in 2021: Sensaya, Heritage, Unofficial and DbyD. These omnichannel marketing campaigns and tools are designed to establish these brands' identities, promote the related product assortments and increase customer brand awareness. These campaigns will be rolled out in more than 20 countries by the second half of 2021. Combined, they will create a consistent brand experiences for customers across all communication channels, whether they connect with our brands in our stores or online, through e-newsletters or traditional and digital media campaigns. In 2020, our Exclusive Brand contact lens share in our in-store business increased by 1%. This was mainly driven by ongoing training of store employees and launching new products under our iWear and Eyexpert brands. These helped to provide our customers with lenses that suited their needs and style preferences at affordable prices.
Our sustainable eyewear evolution
Our Exclusive Brand team creates increased value for customers by developing more sustainable production practices and sourcing eco-friendly materials.
As part of our integrated CSR strategy, we chose to develop DbyD, one of our most popular Exclusive Brands among customers, into our main eco-friendly in-house brand. It also sets the foundation for further sustainable initiatives in our Exclusive Brand portfolio.
As of January 2021, 64% of our optical collection and 100% of our DbyD sunglass collection are made of sustainable materials. Our DbyD team developed related initiatives, including:
- The launch of two DbyD product lines made from recycled waste across 15 markets. They were created in collaboration with Envision plastic and use ocean-bound plastics.
- A partnership with Mazzucchelli to introduce optical and sunglass collections made with a 100% biodegradable and recyclable material. Products were available across 20 GrandVision markets.
Our goal is to transform DbyD into a 100% sustainability-driven brand by 2025.
Our contact lens brand performance
In 2020, our Exclusive Brand contact lens share in our in-store business increased by 1%. This was mainly driven by ongoing training of store employees and launching new products under our iWear and Eyexpert brands. These helped to provide our customers with lenses that suited their needs and style preferences at affordable prices.
Many customers are unaware of the significant benefits that contact lenses can provide in their daily lives, including freedom of movement when exercising and a wider field of vision without eyeglass frames. This is why we leveraged our stores as category entry points to provide an improved first fit experience that supports customer conversion and focuses on selling contact lens subscriptions.
In 2020, we increased the number of contact lens subscriptions, which helped customers fulfil their eyecare needs, especially when their mobility was limited during the COVID-19 pandemic. This gave us an opportunity to attract new customers to our subscription model and reinforce its convenience and benefits. And by year-end, we held 750,000 subscriptions, a slight increase compared to 2019.
We also used 2020 to expand the roll out of our contact lens subscription model to more retail brands. It is now live in 21 of our retail brands. Currently, the G4 and Northern Europe segments are our most developed markets that use this model. We also continued to launch iWear-centric marketing campaigns that expanded awareness of our contact lens category and generated more appointments and higher conversion of contact lens fitting appointments.
Our Exclusive Brand contact lens team has been developing more sustainable choices for our customers. Some of their achievements in 2020 include the launch of our first contact lens recycling program in Denmark, which you can learn about in the 'End-of-product-lifecycles' section in this report. Additionally, they partnered with our strategic suppliers to create iWear Slim, a more sustainable product line. They use less plastic and aluminum, and take up less volume. And the iWear Slim box is made using recycled molds from our contact lens production process. Customers in 10 GrandVision markets could purchase this product in 2020.