How Global Retailer Sunglass Hut Is Bringing Style and Sunnies to the UK

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Our previous article on how technology is changing the UK eyewear market mentioned that more than 59% of the UK population wears glasses, and according to the NHS, more than two million people in the UK are living with sight loss. Fortunately, technology has optimised eye care through innovations like the development of high-performing lenses to the invention of smart glasses, allowing more people to enjoy better vision.

Aside from tech upgrades, global retailer Sunglass Hat is part of the nationwide push to make eye care more accessible. With various online features and a vast collection of specs, Sunglass Hut is poised to strengthen its status as a leading eyewear retailer. Below, we look at how Sunglass Hut is bringing style and sunnies to the UK.

What it offers

Sunglass Hut first started as a family business in a small kiosk at the Miami Dadeland Mall in the United States in 1971. During the 1994-1996 period, the eyewear retailer entered the UK, while its e-commerce website was launched in 1998. In 2000, Sunglass Hut joined eyewear conglomerate Luxottica, and since then, the company has expanded its stores across Asia, South America, and Europe.

Today, Sunglass Hut continues to make eye care more accessible through its online shop and brick-and-mortar stores. Sunglass Hut’s range of sunglasses and glasses allows customers to select their preferred eyewear from premium brands, including the Ray-Ban Clubmaster Classic and the Prada PR 17WS, which are both made of premium acetate and built to last. The website also offers a virtual try-on feature to help buyers find frames that fit their face and style, and it also lets buyers search the nearest physical store for special eye care needs. Consumers can also customise their sunnies online or in-store and have their frames adjusted and custom-cleaned in any Sunglass Hut store for free.

Marketing strategies

Sunglass Hut has mounted campaigns and marketing strategies to bolster its growth and consumer awareness across the UK. Sunglass Hut’s collaboration with women’s magazine Grazia to organise an event in London last year provided fashion enthusiasts and casual attendees with styling tips and exclusive eyewear discounts and promos. The first 70 attendees also received a goodie bag and a chance to win a pair of spectacles.

In 2020, Sunglass Hut launched the #TheSunWithin social media campaign as a way to help people stay connected during the pandemic lockdowns. Throughout the campaign, the eyewear company encouraged social media users to use the hashtag and share photos of beauty, fashion, and wellness on Instagram.

Bolstered growth

Today, Sunglass Hut is considered the largest retailer of luxury sunglasses in the world. The company continues to grow, as seen in its recent store opening in Newcastle’s Eldon Square shopping centre last year, marking the second Sunglass Hat store in the North East. This is on top of more than 3,000 Sunglass Hut shops across the world. With more stores opening, more customers can select a wide range of designer specs for eye protection and style elevation.

This reflects how the eyewear market is enjoying significant growth in Europe as a whole. In the final quarter of 2022, Sunglass Hat’s parent company, EssilorLuxottica, posted a 9.4% growth in revenues, amounting to 6.11 billion euros (about 5.27 billion pound sterling). The eyewear giant marked solid sales growth in the UK, Spain, Italy, and France. This rising demand can be attributed to changing consumer preferences and the increasing need for vision protection, which is what eyewear retailer Sunglass Hut is trying to provide to a wide range of customers who need access to eye care.

Sunglass Hat has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a small kiosk in the US. From innovative in-store features and a wide selection of sunnies to marketing campaigns that boost the eyewear industry’s growth, Sunglass Hat is now making eye care more accessible to people in the UK and the world. For more articles like this, visit the Business Matters website.

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