No stranger to being a market leader, eyewa, the largest online eyewear retailer in the Middle East, is once again going against the trend and prioritising the customer experience by opening its first store in the UAE at City Centre Mirdiff today.
This inaugural launch forms part of a brisk Mena-based growth push that will see the homegrown retail brand launching 100 outlets in key locations across the region by 2023. These ambitious expansion plans have been made possible thanks to a Series B funding round of $21 million, which was announced in June this year and co-led by Kingsway and Nuwa Capital, with participation from French partners, Endeavor Catalyst, Derayah, Palm Drive, and Hardy Capital. Not only will this development extend the company’s market reach exponentially, but it will also secure its position as a truly omni-channel brand, offering the same seamless customer service, attention to detail and commitment to quality across all touchpoints.
Since the UAE-born company was founded in 2017, its mission has always been clear: to provide stylish, high-quality eye care and eyewear (prescription glasses, sunglasses, blue light glasses and both colour and corrective contact lenses) at an affordable price.
As well as stocking a well-curated selection of international brands, eyewa differentiated themselves from competitors by championing local talent and directly responding to the wants and needs of customers in the Middle East by creating three entirely unique house labels. Positioned at varying price points and intended to appeal to different demographics, these bespoke ranges include the modern yet timeless handcrafted 30Sundays line, Blackout, a trendy fast-fashion (and fashion-forward) glasses collection and Layala, a brand specialising in natural, skin tone-matched contact lenses.
True innovators in the field, this latest move into bricks and mortar retail is indicative of a customer-centric approach that has been synonymous with eyewa’s success so far and has seen the company establish itself as one of the largest tech-enabled eyewear specialists in the region.
The aesthetically beautiful, ergonomically designed open-plan 150 square metre flagship store in City Centre Mirdiff is the work of French designer Pierre Brocas and architect Nada Oudghiri and has a pared-back, modern art gallery-like feel to it, with eyewear of course being the star attraction. Boasting interactive screens, hanging installations and a striking colour palette that reflects the brand’s contemporary vibe, a visit to an eyewa store is intended to feel like an interactive experience rather than merely a shopping expedition.
Anass Boumediene, co-founder of eyewa, comments, “Today marks the beginning of an exciting journey for eyewa with our very first UAE store. This is just the start of our ambitious expansion plans, and we look forward to opening many more stores in the future, and welcoming our customers to them.”
Customer service will fuse the cutting edge with the highly personal: in-store opticians will provide free eye exams; customers can avail of free delivery on store orders that require processing and also have the option to return online purchases in person. Highly trained stylists and specialist sales advisors will meanwhile utilise iPads to showcase not only the eyewa range but assist customers in selecting flattering styles and colours perfectly suited to their looks and lifestyles.
In short, a new, exciting era in eyewear shopping has well and truly arrived.