Coastal Contacts Inc.

Coastal Contacts Inc.

May 14, 2009 09:00 ET

Coastal Contacts Pioneers "Social Shopping" for Eyeglasses

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire – May 14, 2009) –


Coastal Contacts Inc. (TSX:COA) announced today that it has launched an industry leading "social shopping" Virtual Mirror which will revolutionize the way consumers shop for eyeglasses on the Web.

Two months ago, Coastal launched its proprietary Virtual Mirror which allows consumers to upload a digital photo and "virtually" try on hundreds of eyeglasses styles. The tool has proven to be popular as more than 50,000 customers have uploaded their photos to date, many of whom have used the tool to purchase prescription eyeglasses from Coastal.

Coastal is now set to launch a second generation Virtual Mirror, the first of its kind in the optical industry. This tool will allow consumers to upload their photo, try on hundreds of eyeglasses styles and share the images with their friends using Facebook, Twitter, blogs or emails to solicit the opinions of their friends and family.

"Our experience since launching our direct to consumer eyeglasses business a year ago is that customers often want affirmation of their product choice to make a final decision," stated Roger Hardy, Coastal's founder and CEO. "This "Social Shopping" tool along with Coastal's "Invoice Me Later" program and "No-Hassle" returns policy will both reinforce individual product decisions and create a wave of awareness among the users of the social networking community users. Facebook alone has more than 200 million users world wide comprised of Internet savvy consumers seeking innovative products and services.

We continue to view the eyeglasses market as a huge opportunity given the disparity between the declining cost of manufacturing eyeglasses in the last ten years and the fact that retail optical store prices have remained the same or risen in the same time period. Coastal is well positioned to take a leadership position in the direct to consumer eyeglasses market based on our global experience in the contact lens industry and the fact that we are starting with a base of approximately two million vision corrected customers in our system.

With Coastal's eyeglasses starting at just $38 and with more than 400 styles to choose from in both branded and private label frames, we are redefining the eyeglasses marketplace. Many of our customers are now eyeglasses collectors, as they can now afford to own several pairs and view them as a fashion accessory."

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 Vision 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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