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LensCrafters

THE MAKING OF LENSCRAFTERS®

In 1983, LensCrafters brought the eye doctor, a wide selection of frames and lenses and the lens-making laboratory together in one convenient location. With accessible locations, convenient hours of operation and the ability to craft eyewear on-site, LensCrafters became a one-stop shop for eyeglasses. Since LensCrafters opened its first store in 1983 with the unique promise of eyeglasses in about one hour, the response from consumers has been tremendous.

Even though the concept caught on, the company knew it had to build its business around something no other company could match: a reputation for delivering excellent quality service. Like the service, the selection at LensCrafters was unlike anything eyewear customers had seen before. Stores carried a wide selection of frames and lenses. The merchandise had other conveniences, like price tags to help customers comparison shop.

This service mentality, still the foundation of LensCrafters' success today, stemmed from the company's unique corporate culture. As the company grew, LensCrafters defined the culture that brought it such success, and shared that philosophy with its associates. What developed was a Vision for the corporation, a Mission statement, and ten Core Values which emphasized extraordinary customer service and associate satisfaction.

THE GREAT IDEA GROWS BIGGER

The one-stop, one-hour concept caught on quickly with busy consumers. By Spring 1986, two stores were opening per week. In 1988, just five years after its inception, LensCrafters had become America's largest chain of optical superstores with 278 stores in the United States. The company also entered the international retailing market in 1988, opening nine superstores in Canada.

The 1990s brought both growth and change to LensCrafters and the entire optical industry. LensCrafters' strong framework and corporate culture gave the company the flexibility to change gears at this time, shifting the focus of its U.S. operation away from opening new stores. LensCrafters looked inward to improve efficiency and productivity.

Despite the challenging atmosphere of the early 90s, LensCrafters continued to emphasize quality, service and value-added products. During 1992, LensCrafters improved its sales and increased profit levels to become the largest optical retailer (based on revenues) in the world.

In January of 1993, the acquisition of Eye Masters Ltd. made LensCrafters Canada's largest optical retailer as well, with 483 superstores in the U.S. and Canada. This was the same year LensCrafters celebrated its 10th anniversary and unveiled the Decade II Vision, Mission and Core Values. These living documents have guided growth in the company's second decade.


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