2019 update: Interview with Andre Forest
We interviewed former chairman of the Bonlook Board, Andre Forest in late 2019 on our Market Hunt Podcast. Topics include an update on Bonlook’s digital to brick and mortar sales strategy, how to create brand value, Bonlook’s merger with Walter Capital and their focus to increase brand awareness in markets outside Quebec. Link to Episode page here.
Bonlook wants to change the way prescription eyeglasses are purchased. Bonlook started from online sales to storefront sales, typical of new retail brands in this economy. The eyewear industry, traditionally characterised by low volumes and high margins is being transformed, according to Bonlook VP and CTO Louis-Félix Boulanger into one of high volume and lower margins. Bonlook thinks that by designing, manufacturing and retailing it themselves and cutting out the middle-person, they can produce at lower cost points and transfer this saving to their customers. The hope is instead of purchasing one or two pairs at 500$ they will purchase 5 to 10 pairs at $100 each.
Bonlook faced a challenging debut in that in their home base of Quebec, where selling prescription eyewear online was illegal. The rules have since changed but this regulatory environment forced Bonlook to sell to international markets from its infancy.
Fashion Tech, Online retail, International consumer market penetration, Developing a hybrid retail model, Eyewear retail industry, differentiation through retail shopping experience, brand awareness, social media marketing, brand positioning, vertical integration, fast fashion, international supply chain manufacturing, lean manufacturing, internalization of internationalization, penetrating a regulated industry from non-traditional outlets, go to market strategy for a global online brand, creating a compelling brand experience at all touch points, expanding brand to different consumer segments, obtaining outside funding in order to scale the company, scaling a startup, cultivating a company culture.
Production Year: 2016.
Featured in this case are:
Sophie Boulanger, Bonlook
Louis-Félix Boulanger, Bonlook
André Forest, Anges Québec
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