Foster Grant, the top-selling sunglass brand in the eyewear market, is set to open its first retail store, on Nov. 14 in Orlando’s The Florida Mall. The brand, which already dominates the mass market with 50,000 points of sale in the U.S., views the move as more of a “learning lab and marketing experiment,” according to FGX International’s chief marketing officer Gina Lazaro.
“The store will help us continue to get closer to consumers, understand trends and have a quicker response,” she said.
The 550-square-foot store, which will join an existing kiosk at the mall, will showcase Foster Grant’s signature line of sunglasses in the $15 to $30 price range, as well as its Item 8 line, launched in August, which offers more fashion-forward premium styles priced between $30 and $70.
“I can’t imagine the majority of our business going above $30; our core will always be in the $30 range,” Lazaro said, noting, “We know higher-priced sub-brands won’t be the biggest part of the business, but it elevates the whole brand. It’s an important part in showcasing our fashion and styling credentials, which will have a halo effect.”
About 620 stockkeeping units will be displayed on open woodgrain shelving with ample mirrors and flattering lighting. Lifestyle imagery featuring brand ambassador Kat Graham will be prominent, and an interactive mirror will allow customers to try on a pair of sunglasses, take a photo and compare up to four styles side by side.
The company has plans to open another two to three stores in the key sunglass market of Florida in the next 12 to 18 months. Foster Grant’s biggest retail partners include Wal-Mart, Target and Walgreens, but the company is developing distribution in Kohl’s and other mid-tier department stores. Said Lazaro, “We are always trying to increase all our channels. The new store won’t have a huge impact on overall business in short term, but as we get smarter we will take that info and share it with our retail partners and we will see all that improve significantly.”