In the midst of the bright lights and fanciful designs at the 2016 edition, Canada’s Clearly stood out. Formerly known as Clearly Contacts, the Vancouver-based brand is now the world’s largest online retailer of eyeglasses.

While most Canadians recognize the company from its omnipresent online ads, it’s aiming to be much more than a transactional destination for cheap glasses. Clearly is a major player in the $112-billion global eyewear industry, which sees e-commerce surging at a rate of 25 per cent every year, compared to the five-to-six per cent growth in online shopping overall. “Eyewear is at a transformation point,” says Roy Hessel, Clearly’s CEO.

“Currently only 4 per cent of consumers buy their vision correction needs online. We want to convert the remaining 96 per cent.”

To accomplish this, Clearly doesn’t just want to transform the retail experience; it wants to revolutionize the product. “It’s an industry in need of disruption,” says chief marketing officer Nancy Richardson. “And I would love to be known as the brand that reinvents optical.”

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