Getting a new pair of glasses should be as simple as ordering a cup of coffee. At Optique, they continually strive to make eye care more accessible and easier to understand. They make going to the optometrist interesting, exciting, and professional, and their goal is to keep it that way!
They’ve cleverly developed a brand image and concept that is easily accessible, affordable, and unique in its offerings.
Optique means “Optical” in French, a collective noun describing what the team at Optique do as Optometrists, who strive to give you the best possible service from the moment you walk into their stores, to the moment you leave.
“We chose this as our name as we want to come back to the basics of our industry, to measure vision and correct using lenses (as we feel our industry has lost its way with buy one get one deals and pushing sales). Our logo also aligns with this moto, as it is a group of colourful prisms/triangles representing the basics of optics. The first thing you learn at school, is that when light moves through a prism, it breaks up into the 7 colours of the rainbow, where all our colours in branding come from and represent diversity,”
says Optique’s CEO.
When it comes to South African demand for eye care, it can be considered quite unique, as 75% of people cannot afford proper eye care which is quite alarming. According to research, the average price of an eye test in South Africa is R550; therefore, if you earn R7500 per month, you are part of the top 10% wealthiest people.
This means even then, to get your eyes tested, you have to pay 7% of your salary just to find out the status of your eye health. This is what inspired the CEO of Optique, to provide a radical alternative solution to South Africans and make eye care accessible.
We caught up with Thia van Vuuren, Co-Founder of Optique, who tells us more about their exciting store in Cape Town.
What makes this Cape Town store the one to visit?
To start with, we have an in-house Costa Coffee bar with a barista to serve you while you wait for your appointment. Costa Coffee is the second-largest coffee chain globally after Starbucks. It has over 4,000 retail outlets in 30+ countries with highly trained baristas, coffee vending operations, and serving coffee from Costa’s state-of-the-art roasters.
What makes the Cape the perfect target area for your brand and corporate image?
The branch is at the bottom of the ABSA building in the business district of Cape Town. Right where the bus route, taxis, and train station come together. We love this as we are an everyday man’s brand, and our passion is to serve all South Africans.
What goes into opening a store like Optique – how long does it take from conception to completion?
This has definitely been the most challenging store to open, as months of planning went into the design, layout, and approval from the landlord and city council. The practice forms part of the ABSA building, which went under a couple of Billions of rands of renovations the past couple of years. Being a concept store, we wanted it to be perfect and provide our customers with the famous Optique experience.
With only five stores in the Gauteng area, how does one successfully compete in an ever-growing and demanding market?
We turned four years old in October 2021 and did not set out to be more than just one or two practices, but the support from South Africans has been overwhelming. As long as there is a need for what we offer, we will continue to grow. We hope to inspire our industry by joining us to make eye care more affordable to a more significant portion of South Africa.
You call it your “famous R99 eye test”, why is this so popular?
Our eye tests are definitely worth much more than R99, but the other 80% we do not charge is our way of giving our time, money and talents to promote eye care awareness. As an inspired, proudly South African organisation, we are aware of the struggles many face to access quality healthcare, and even more so, quality eye care.
Knowing the status of your vision and eye health is a basic human right, and we know by promoting it we are contributing towards everyday activities that enable people to prosper at every stage of life, and indirectly stimulate our country’s education and economic position. By offering our professional services at only R99 in the private sector, we aim to honour our oath as primary health care providers in providing access to high-quality eye care for all.
Your brand image stands for colour, vibrancy, and welcoming nature – is that the look and feel you were going for?
Optique means “Optical” in French, a collective noun describing what we do as Optometrists. We chose this as our name as we want to come back to the basics of our industry, to measure vision and correct it by means of lenses (as we feel our industry has lost its way with buy one get one deals and pushing sales).
Our logo also aligns with this principle. It is a group of prisms/triangles representing the first thing you learn at school regarding optics. When white light moves through a prism, it breaks up into the seven colours of the rainbow, where we get the inspiration of our colourful branding, representing the diversity of South Africa which we embrace.
Why should people visit your stores?
To get an eye test. I cannot stress the importance of knowing the status of your eye health enough. R99 is still a lot of money, but we really don’t want finance to be the reason you postpone a trip to the optometrist. We avoid manipulative design or sales practices that profit the company but erodes the community’s trust. Having trusted Optique with your eye care, you can be assured that you have received the best possible eye care, at the best possible rate.
With over 22 stores in Gauteng, Western Cape, and the Free State, where are you looking to branch out next?
We recently opened stores in Kuilsrivier and Tokai (both in the Cape Town region). The demand for our offering continues to grow in Gauteng where we hope to expand in the near future.
Whether it is glasses, contact lenses or simply an eye health check-up, Optique is your one-stop shop for all your eye care needs.
Optique Cape Town can be found at Shop 10B, Foreshore Building 2A Riebeek Street, Cape Town
Book online today at https://optique.co.za