Coastal Contacts Rebrands to ‘Clearly’ in Various Forms Through Its Global E-Commerce Sites


Roy Hessel.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia—Online eyewear retailer, Coastal Contacts Inc. announced on Wednesday May 13 that it has rebranded to Clearly for the Canadian market, along with additional brand name changes for other global markets including the U.S.

“The name Clearly aligns with our overall mission to help people see clearly, fight poor vision and our ambition to make vision care accessible to one billion pairs of eyes by 2030,” said CEO Roy Hessel. “The company originally started out selling contact lenses and has since expanded its product offering. The rebrand is the unveiling of our new vision: To be within reach of every human eye on the planet.”

This rebranding occurs about one year since Essilor acquired Coastal Contacts for approximately CAD 430 million.

While the name change from to Clearly is for the Canadian market, the international e-commerce company’s branding will change in other countries as well. “In the United States it will be known as by Clearly, in Japan as Contactsan by Clearly, and in Scandinavia as Lensway by Clearly,” Hessel told VMail. “Our corporate name has not changed, but for all other intents and purposes, marketing, branding, DBA, etc., the group will be known as Clearly. In Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the websites’ URLs, print and digital assets will all reflect this change to Clearly.”

Along with the rebranding, the online eyewear retailer will also expand its lens offerings, integrate lens education into the purchasing process, and add a new style service through which Vision Ambassadors will make frame and lens recommendations based on a customer’s prescription, photo, style preference and sizing.

“We are in the process of launching more than a half dozen new lenses this year, all serving different glasses wearer needs,” Hessel told VMail. Among the new lens offerings will be the Kodak BlueReflect Lens, designed to reduce glare and blue light from digital screens and artificial lights that lead to digital eyestrain. (Kodak lenses are manufactured by Signet Armorlite under a licensing agreement with Kodak. Essilor acquired Signet Armorlite in 2010.)

About the new style service, Hessel told VMail, “We offer a personal eyewear consultation on our site where a Vision Ambassador team member will be in contact within 24 hours with frame recommendations based on how our customer is using their glasses, their current frame measurements and style preferences. They can book an appointment online on the site.

“Our Vision Ambassadors go through an intensive training focused on providing the best customer service, product knowledge, understanding of the importance of eye health and contact lens compliance. They are also trained to redirect consumers to their eyecare professional for medical advice. Our on-staff opticians are a resource for both our customers and Vision Ambassadors to ensure our customers are receiving the right products for their needs.”

Other upgrades Hessel described include: “The order process will be intuitive so customers are given a range of options personalized for their prescription and product usage. We are moving toward more personalized shopping to narrow the focus to products and experiences relevant to users’ previous shopping choices and browsing preferences.

“Service changes include appointments with the eyecare professional; on-staff optometrists and opticians to assist customers and staff; and assistance finding a frame even if it’s not on the Clearly site. As leaders in vision correction, we share a common goal with eyecare professionals to ensure access to better vision health. The need is great, and there is a role for each of us to play. We believe poor vision is one of the world’s most treatable health care challenges, and e-commerce is one of the ways to address it.”

Hessel concluded: “By working together with the industry and eyecare providers to address unmet needs in vision care access and education, we can affect positive change while growing the market for the benefit of all stakeholders. We have stepped up our focus beyond just selling contacts and frames at an affordable price to joining the fight against poor vision worldwide.”