With a rich and storied history dating back nearly 95 years, global leader in the eyewear industry Foster Grant, has earned a golden reputation for offering impeccable, fashion-forward styles at an affordable price.
Foster Grant can look back fondly at its humble beginnings, starting with Sam Foster’s first sale on the Atlantic City Boardwalk for just 10 cents. Throughout the years, Foster Grant frames have also been aligned with some of Hollywood’s most notable faces including recent sightings of Sofia Vergara in readers and sunglasses from her collaboration with Foster Grant.
Foster Grant has grown and evolved for more than nine decades, a remarkable feat for any brand. Today, Foster Grant leads the eyewear industry with approachable solutions for every consumer.
Salvatore Mauceri, President of Sun and Readers Division at EssilorLuxottica, shares insights into Foster Grant’s relationship with the consumer, approaching new categories with ongoing innovation and growing leadership in sustainability.
Fairchild Studios: As a legacy brand, how has Foster Grant continued to modernize and stay relevant to the consumer?
Salvatore Mauceri: Foster Grant has a rich storied history that dates back to 1929 and we are incredibly proud of the brand, but we are also acutely aware that to maintain our relevancy and deliver what our consumer needs and wants, we cannot stay stagnant. We are always evolving and innovating. Innovation is at the core of every new product design and collection, and that translates into unique eyewear solutions for our consumers.
Fairchild Studios: How does Foster Grant stand out within the eyewear industry?
S.M.: Foster Grant develops products for a wide-ranging consumer base, identifying key eyewear needs, incorporating the latest industry trends and honing innovative technologies to create high-impact, accessible products. We offer stylish eyewear at an affordable price without sacrificing quality.
Foster Grant has a global impact with its eyewear — we sell more than any other brand within our retailers and are proud to donate millions of pairs to help those in need. Over 1 billion people have a vision impairment that could be prevented or is yet to be addressed. More than 80% suffer from vision impairment due to presbyopia — a common condition that can be easily corrected with a pair of reading glasses. Since 2008, we have donated more than 11 million pairs of reading glasses to Restoring Vision, a global nonprofit dedicated to creating equitable access to vision services and eyeglasses for people living on less than $2 a day.
Fairchild Studios: What are today’s consumer demands and what behaviors are you seeing come from that?
S.M.: Having an authentic connection with our customers is incredibly important and therefore, the consumer experience with the brand is paramount. It’s critical that we win with the consumer at the
first moment of truth — whether it’s in-store or online.
We have evolved to meet consumers where they are — whether that’s shopping in-store at mass retailers, online at FosterGrant.com or on pure-play channels like Amazon or via social media. In-store, it’s important to connect with the consumer as they approach our displays with strong branding, engaging graphics and simple navigational cues to help them find the perfect pair of eyewear based on their needs. And with our digital storefronts, we ensure our sites are robust and easy to navigate to ensure that the consumer can easily select the perfect pair of eyewear.
Fairchild Studios: How does Foster Grant consider the consumer experience when identifying needs?
S.M.: Foster Grant is and always has been a solution-based brand. We anchor on what the consumer needs and are able to deliver a stylish and practical solution for our consumers at an incredible value. We have a massive reach when it comes to our audience. Foster Grant has a product for everyone: reading glasses, driving glasses, digital reading glasses, fashion sunglasses, kids’ glasses, sunglasses with polarized and mirror lens options, sport sunglasses, and blue-light-filtering glasses.
One of my favorite new collections is Foster Grant Styles for Y.O.U. We saw a need for a comfortable, modern fit across eyewear categories for people with diverse and unique face shapes. So, we designed an entire collection of on-trend eyewear for people with higher cheekbones and wider and lower nose bridges so they can have a truly comfortable fit.
A common problem with reading glasses is the need to take them on and off when you’re focusing on something close (a computer screen for example) or far away. Foster Grant designed an innovative lens technology that eliminates that problem. Our Pop of Power Blue Light Readers have a small segment at the bottom of the lens with reader magnification, giving customers a “pop” of magnification only where they need it. No need to take them on and off.
Fairchild Studios: As a global leader in the eyewear industry, why is it so important to share sustainability best practices? What is that responsibility?
S.M.: As a 90-plus-year-old brand, Foster Grant has transformed throughout its history to meet the demands of not only consumers but the overall world in which we live and work. As an industry leader, Foster Grant produces millions of pairs
of eyewear every year and has a responsibility to take a hard look at its overall footprint. And our work on sustainability includes not only our eyewear, but the entire product including our cases, our packaging and more. We also realize that sharing our own sustainability progress and best practices can perhaps help other brands and companies to do their part as well.
Our sustainability efforts involve an aggressive transformation program to analyze each aspect of our work in order to make meaningful changes. From logistics, distribution, and shipping, to production, energy use, and waste, we strive to implement better efficiencies to pursue smarter, greener options.
Our collaboration with Eastman, a global specialty materials company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day, has been critical in moving the needle in the right direction. We have partnered with them to create eyewear from molecularly recycled material to reduce plastic waste. We’ve been able to bring innovative, sustainable eyewear frames to mass-market eyewear fashion through the use of Tritan Renew — a high-performance copolyester made with 50 percent certified recycled content with no compromise on quality.