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Impact of Specsavers in Australia after all these years

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    Impact of Specsavers in Australia after all these years

    Is there any report on how did Specsavers eventually change the landscape in Australia?

    How badly were the independents impacted? How much of a revenue drop did indies experience? How are they differentiating/competing with SS?

    I understand the SS cornered 40% of the market in Australia. But is it just existing independent optometrists converting their practice to SS (so essentially just a banner change), or did SS open new stores and take market share from independents and put indies out of business?
    Last edited by optocurio; 05-24-2023, 02:04 AM.

    #2
    Originally posted by optocurio View Post
    Is there any report on how did Specsavers eventually change the landscape in Australia?

    How badly were the independents impacted? How much of a revenue drop did indies experience? How are they differentiating/competing with SS?

    I understand the SS cornered 40% of the market in Australia. But is it just existing independent optometrists converting their practice to SS (so essentially just a banner change), or did SS open new stores and take market share from independents and put indies out of business?
    Good question.

    I will just speak on our experience over the last 13 years at an independent.

    over that time, the effect was on and off. We found that 1/3rd of our regulars would disappear for about 2-3 years and not respond to recall.

    Then when they came back to us again after a hiatus, they all had specs from specsavers.
    They were mostly given basic lenses with only Hardcoat.

    After some Q&A the majority all had the same answer as to why they came back.
    1. Better and more through eye test and service with more attention paid to each client.
    2. Most reporting that our lenses where better overall.

    Specsavers are all about volume and pumping out those 10-15 min eye tests ending with a sale for each visit.

    Don't be surprised if a chunk of your clients try them out at least once.
    Use that to your advantage. welcome them back with premium products and premium service!

    If your practice tries to cater to the "low end of town" with discount prices and package deals the chunk of your sales. Then i'm sorry to say.
    You most likely won't survive.

    Think Starbucks. They will come into every town and open up right next to you. Offering amazing sounding promotions and deals to lure people away.

    You need to look at what their lacking and fill the gaps on that.

    They don't do every lens solution from what i know.

    do some mystery shopping when they open, and grab their lens price brochure so you can see what they are and aren't offering.

    Just my 2c.

    Comment


      #3
      That's great information. Thank you.

      You are right about avoiding to compete with them on price alone and instead focus on a premium product and service.


      So did you experience a 30% drop in revenues for about 3 years when SpecSavers initially came to Australia?
      Did the revenues fully recover to its original level after 3 years, or are they still subdued?

      I read somewhere that SS helped take the market from $900 million in 2007 to $3 billion in the 10 years that they were in Australia (or that seems to be the implication). So technically even if SS took 40% share in the expanded market, the existing independent practices should have been unaffected and safe. Is that what you are seeing locally?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by optocurio View Post
        That's great information. Thank you.

        You are right about avoiding to compete with them on price alone and instead focus on a premium product and service.


        So did you experience a 30% drop in revenues for about 3 years when SpecSavers initially came to Australia?
        Did the revenues fully recover to its original level after 3 years, or are they still subdued?

        I read somewhere that SS helped take the market from $900 million in 2007 to $3 billion in the 10 years that they were in Australia (or that seems to be the implication). So technically even if SS took 40% share in the expanded market, the existing independent practices should have been unaffected and safe. Is that what you are seeing locally?
        Not so much 30% but there was a drop, mabe closer to 20% for us.

        But ever since the end of lockdowns in 2021 our business has boomed more than ever. Our usually quiet months are nearly fully booked most days and were selling more lens solutions than ever before.
        It helps we have good help from the lens rep and some frame reps too.

        That's another sometimes overlooked factor, to foster relationships with the right companies to help complement and grow your business.

        Comment


          #5
          In the states we have a ton of bargain branded opticals, America's Best, Stanton, Costco, Target, JC Penny, Walmart Vision Centers to name a few, just these stores total around 5,000 stores throughout the country. Now we have 13 times the population that Australia has, but there was only 324 spec savers in Australia. You start doing the math and you can see that the US has a similar amount or more per capita than you Aussie's do. It doesn't affect our business here, it really shouldn't have a long term effect there.

          Originally posted by Apar83 View Post
          If your practice tries to cater to the "low end of town" with discount prices and package deals the chunk of your sales. Then i'm sorry to say.
          You most likely won't survive.

          Think Starbucks. They will come into every town and open up right next to you. Offering amazing sounding promotions and deals to lure people away.

          You need to look at what their lacking and fill the gaps on that.
          This! You will never compete on price. Don't try! You have expertise that the people at Specsavers could only dream about. That is what you offer your customers/patients that Specsavers can never do.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Apar83 View Post
            Not so much 30% but there was a drop, mabe closer to 20% for us.

            But ever since the end of lockdowns in 2021 our business has boomed more than ever. Our usually quiet months are nearly fully booked most days and were selling more lens solutions than ever before.
            It helps we have good help from the lens rep and some frame reps too.

            That's another sometimes overlooked factor, to foster relationships with the right companies to help complement and grow your business.
            Thats good to know. Thanks.

            Comment


              #7
              NAICITPO: Interesting observations. Thanks. I agree with you about competing on price part.

              Comment

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