Coastal Contacts Further Expands Beyond E-Commerce with Brick-and-Mortar Locations


VANCOUVER, British Columbia—After successfully operating a brick-and-mortar store here, the primarily online optical retailer, Coastal Contacts, Inc. (NASDAQ: COA) (TSX: COA) is opening its second physical location in its hometown with plans to open more in other Canadian cities. Traditionally selling contact lenses online since its founding in Oct. 2000 and eyeglasses online since Feb. 2008, Coastal opened a 1,000-square-foot store in the upscale shopping district of Robson Street in March 2013. The second location will open this month on West 4th Avenue, another one of the city’s shopping destinations.

While the Robson Street store was initially seen as a temporary means of test marketing and connecting to consumers, the company soon found that the store proved successful by attracting both new and existing customers. “We currently have an optometrist and opticians in our stores,” a company spokesperson told VMail, detailing how the once disrupter has begun to adopt typical optical retailing techniques. The company reports that it would like to have up to 10 more stores in planning within a year. “We are considering the major cities in Canada,” the Coastal spokesperson confirmed, but would not divulge which ones.

According to the company’s second fiscal quarter ended April 30, 2013, as reported by Vision Monday June 12, 2013: Overall sales for the company increased 11 percent to $53.7 million, as compared with the same period last year. Net loss for the quarter totaled $7.0 million compared to a net loss of $0.2 million in the prior year’s Q2. Sales for the first six months of the 2013 fiscal year, ended April 30, 2013, increased 12.4 percent to $108.6 million from $95.1 million for the same period last year. Net loss for the six-month period was $10.4 million compared to a net loss of $0.4 million in the previous year’s first half.