New manufacturing division launched 'to help independents'

Brulimar Optical Group secures six-figure funding ‘to even the playing field’ over buying power

13 Dec 2016 by Robina Moss

Brulimar has launched a new manufacturing division for all types of eyewear ‘to assist independent optical retailers and even the playing field.’

The development stems from a series of joint ventures with top Chinese factories, and will enable UK practices to order directly from the production source ‘to maximise profits.’

For the new business venture, the company secured a six-figure funding deal with Allied Irish Bank (GB) to support its endeavour and safeguard its overarching business for its partners and customers.

The UK is one of the world’s most aggressive optical marketplaces, Brulimar Optical Group believes. The company is highlighting Mintel research statistics which indicate that three industry giants – Specsavers, Boots Opticians and Optical Express – are collectively controlling 62% of the market, whereas UK independents as a whole are “clinging on to a mere 29%.”

Brulimar Optical Group’s chief executive, Howard Librae, feels that the corporations’ immense buying power is setting them above independents.

In response, his company has established its new manufacturing division so that smaller groups of practices are able to compete with the major chains by paying "significantly lower pricing margins that are comparable to manufacturer prices and what large corporations currently pay."

“This whole direct-from-the-factory-to-the-store concept is about providing retailers of all sizes with massive savings on optical frames and accessories that they’re already buying,” explained Mr Librae.  

“Brulimar’s all-in pricing scheme enables stores to save upward of 50–60% of the amount they’re currently paying for core models.”

He emphasised: “In arranging this, we’ve applied our 35 years of industry expertise in factory selection, design capability, quality control and reliability. Plus, we’re leveraging reduced rates, for air and sea freight, that we already have in place for our own imports.”

In addition, the company is providing free storage, as this can be an issue for smaller practices.

Mr Librae said: “Products are securely kept in our Manchester-based warehouse and our customers can easily replenish random quantities of their stock at any of their branches through our newly modified software, and have it seamlessly delivered.”

The new manufacturing division also means that practices are able to “cost effectively create a bespoke collection.”

Mr Librae explained: “We’re providing optical retailers with the ability to tailor all aspects of a collection from the frame’s size, shape and colours to the more intricate components, like the acetate and metal plating, spring hinges, bridge types and finishes such as rubber touch coating to shiny or simply matt.

“There’s endless options to choose from and brands can even include their logo or store name on the demo lenses, or the full collection. To help people get started, we’ve pre-selected 45 generic Brulimar models to act as a reference point.”

The managing director highlighted that prior to partnering, his team made numerous overseas trips to verify the operations.

“All of our joint venture factories have been thoroughly inspected,” he emphasised, adding: “We have ensured they meet high ethical working standards and are capable of handling all order types, including small or larger quantities, and niche products.

“We’ve also reviewed all elements, in each frame and accessories, to confirm they’re producing high-quality and consistent products.”

The new manufacturing division is now fully launched. For more information, visit the Brulimar website


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