Coastal Contacts Inc.

Coastal Contacts Inc.

May 04, 2009 16:04 ET

Coastal Contacts Launches Progressive Lens Eyeglasses

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire – May 4, 2009) –


Coastal Contacts Inc. (TSX:COA) announced today the addition of progressive lenses to its rapidly expanding eyeglasses product offering. Also included in the product launch are Coastal subsidiaries in Canada and in Europe.

Manufacturer's data regarding the United States market for prescription eyeglasses indicates that progressive and continual focus lenses comprise approximately 26% of the 75 million prescription eyeglasses sold annually. Progressive and continual focus lenses are typically targeted to vision corrected consumers over 40 years of age that are experiencing a common condition called presbyopia. As people age, their eye changes shape, resulting in a requirement for both near and distance correction in the same lens.

"Our experience in the past 12 months, since launching single vision eyeglasses, is that consumers are overwhelmingly positive about the combination of value, quality and speed that we offer," stated Roger Hardy, Coastal Contacts, Founder and CEO. "In a challenging economic time for consumers, we are delighted to provide a legitimate alternative to purchasing eyeglasses from an eye care practitioner or retail optical store where they can often charge $300 or more for a pair of eyeglasses that we sell for prices that start at $38. The model is working and we are committed to expanding the offering in terms of both frame selection and lenses, such as progressives.

We operate a business which is entirely driven by consumer demand in real time, shortening the supply chain and eliminating the "middle man" wherever possible. Since launching single vision glasses only a year ago, we have been receiving an increasing number of enquiries asking when we are going to start selling progressive lenses. It appears to be a particularly acute segment of the market where consumers are fed up paying $800 to $1200 for a pair of progressive eyeglasses, which we sell for prices that start at $137 for conventional progressive lenses and range to a maximum of $199 for "free form" technology. We have the ability to react to our customers and give them what they want quickly, with the highest possible quality at an affordable price.

Our market tests prior to launch give us absolute confidence in our ability to provide progressive lenses that meet or exceed our customer's expectations. Many customers during the test period have told us they are the best progressive eyeglasses they have ever owned at any price."

Coastal launched its eyeglasses business in February 2008 and has rapidly become a leader in the direct to consumer eyeglasses channel passing savings on to customers. Customers are delighted to have access to high quality eyeglasses at previously unheard of prices.

About Coastal Contacts:

Coastal Contacts Inc. ( is the world's leading direct-to-consumer vision products company which designs, produces and distributes a diversified offering such as contact lenses and eyeglasses. The Company's unique combination of branded and private label products represent quality, value and above all, service. Coastal sells into more than 150 countries through proprietary web properties which reflect the culture and consumer preference of the target market. As new markets for eyeglasses and contact lenses evolve, the Company is positioned to become the vision product consumer's retailer of choice owing to its unbeatable value proposition combining value and service. Already No. 1 in many of its markets, Coastal is rapidly advancing toward its goal of becoming the "World's Optical Store".

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements that reflect the current views and/or expectations of Coastal Contacts Inc. with respect to its performance, business and future events. Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, those relating to changes in the market, potential downturns in economic conditions, consumer credit risk, limited suppliers, inventory risk, disruption in our distribution facilities, foreign exchange fluctuations, changes in business strategy, regulatory requirements, demand for contact lenses and other vision care products, competition, dependence on the internet and other risks detailed in our filings with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities. Reference should be made to the section entitled "Risk Factors" contained in our most recently filed Annual Information Form dated January 29, 2009 for a detailed description of the risks and uncertainties relating to our business. These risks, as well as others, could cause actual results and events to vary significantly. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and information, which are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Except as required by applicable law, Coastal Contacts does not undertake any obligations to release publicly any revisions for updating any voluntary forward-looking statements.

Neither the TSX nor any other regulatory body has reviewed and therefore does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

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