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Blenders Eyewear launches in the UK and Ireland

Providing sunglasses inspired by the Californian lifestyle, the new addition to the Safilo Group is set to form a key part of the manufacturer’s digital transformation plans

couple taking selfie
Blenders Eyewear

Blenders Eyewear, the digitally native brand recently acquired by the Safilo Group, has launched in the UK and Ireland.

The UK operations are intended to be e-commerce only. The company confirmed to OT that the brand is not currently selling prescription frames in the UK and is only providing sunglasses.

Blenders Eyewear generates approximately 95% of its business through a proprietary direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform. The US-based brand is particularly focused on the Millennial and Generation Z markets (those born between approximately 1980 and 1995, and 1996 to 2015 respectively), with products inspired by the active lifestyle in California.

Safilo completed its acquisition of a 70% stake in Blenders Eyewear in summer last year, after announcing the deal in 2019. 

Commenting on the introduction to the European market, CEO and founder of Blenders Eyewear, Chase Fisher, said: “The consumer is fashion-forward, which is an ideal match for our bold, high quality looks which guarantee an instant cool factor.”

Safilo Group chief executive officer, Angelo Trocchia, explained that Blenders Eyewear represents a key part of its ‘360 degree digital transformation’ which includes three approaches – the launch of the latest technologies in business-to-business and CRM fields, strengthening digital and social marketing capabilities and the direct-to-consumer (D2C) channel.

The Safilo CEO said that e-commerce in the eyewear market has been growing in recent years, particularly bolstered by the pandemic, as well as new consumer habits: “The channel is still selling the biggest volumes in the sunglasses market, fed by fashion’s big investments in social media.”

Explaining Safilo’s motivation for exploring this channel, he told OT: “In sunglasses we see the consumer moving more and more online, hence e-commerce has become a priority channel for us.”

In the UK and Ireland, he suggested e-commerce channels are becoming more focused on service, such as fast delivery or easy returns, rather than just the price point.

Trocchia pointed out that this is an area which is seeing a lot of movement from both traditional and digital brands. He said: “We see all the channels mixing, with traditional retailers moving seriously to e-commerce but also the opposite trend with several big e-commerce businesses opening physical stores.”