Optometry Plus Gift Shop Equals Winning Retail Strategy

Date: October, 19, 2012 / Author: Jennifer Anderson
Categories: Opening First Practice, Photos, Selecting Colors

What happens when a couple decides to combine his optometric practice with her flair for retailing and display? Randy Burggraf, OD and wife Julie found a prime retail space for lease in Geneva, IL, a destination shopping village that attracts tourists from far and wide. They offer both moderate and upscale eyewear along with small gift items and jewelry, to attract shoppers who may not be in the market for an eye exam today, but are looking for an intriguing boutique shopping experience. One unusual eyewear category has been an unexpected hit for them: doggie sunglasses! To encourage more dog owners to stop in, they have a water bowl and free treats right at the front door. 

We designed the office and shop using a combination of Barbara Wright Signature Displays plus a matching custom-designed cash wrap island for the retail shop. Julie did a lot of smart shopping at local used furniture and antique stores, sending pics of her finds (chairs, chests, tables) to Barbara to help her make final choices. The result of this collaboration: a unique, fun and unforgettable shopping experience for every visitor. In the first few months, more gifts and sunglasses were sold than frames and lenses, but the optometry practice is picking up steam at a good pace.  

They did make one miscalculation in the initial frame inventory—not enough high end frames! Customers were coming in asking for more pricey designer brands by name, so the Burggrafs were quick to respond to those requests and saw a nice increase in their average sale. Looks like a practice on the road to success!

View more photos of this practice

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