SOURCE: Optical Underground

Optical Underground

September 03, 2014 12:00 ET

Optical Underground Releases Proprietary Digital Free-Form Progressive Lenses Sans the Wallet Busting Prices

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Sep 3, 2014) - Today, Optical Underground launched their eponymous brand of digital free-form progressive power lenses starting at $139. These lenses use the latest technology in software design and manufacturing equipment to deliver accuracy up to 25 times that of traditionally designed lenses.

Up until now these lenses were primarily the purview of major branded lens manufactures and commanded a premium price. Despite all the different brands, and claimed superiority by each, one company holds the primary patent on all free-form designs and is paid a royalty for each lens sold.

Lloyd Silverstein, a third generation optician and owner of Optical Underground, states, "For years, like most other stores, we've sold only branded progressive lenses such as Varilux and Zeiss because they make proven products that work well. Sadly the premium pricing associated with these new lens designs did not fit our value model. We needed an alternative."

He reasoned that if he could bypass the middle-man by offering this technology without the brand names associated with these lenses, then he could offer the same value on high-end lenses that his store does on high-end frames.

To test his reasoning he conducted a blind study, offering free digital lenses to 100 of his customers. Customers did not know if they were getting branded lenses or Optical Underground's lenses. Study participants all agreed that these lenses were as good as or better than what they had been wearing, but showed no preference for the branded lenses over Optical Underground's.

Optical Underground's digital free-form progressive lenses are now available starting at $139, and include standard features: scratch-resistant coatings, UV filters and premium water and smudge resistant anti-reflection coatings. Comparable branded lenses ring in at over $500 in stores and over $250 online.

"We take advantage of the customization allowed by these lens algorithms by offering them in 'Basic, Advanced and Fully Personalized' designs. Taking it several steps further than even the branded lenses, we can tailor these lenses to your lifestyle, primary visual tasks as well as individual frame and facial features," said Mr. Silverstein.

Optical Underground is also the first to be using a specialized "decision tree" app to guide the consumer through a brief set of questions about their daily visual needs in order to determine the best lens style for those needs.

About Optical Underground:
Founded in 1911, Optical Underground has been a San Francisco family owned business for over 100 years. This history gives consumers the opportunity to shop luxury brand eyewear at unparalleled prices due to their unique access to overstocks, samples and discontinued styles. Committed to creating an authentic shopping experience, Optical Underground works directly with the industry's leading and emerging brands to curate their store with on trend and timeless eyewear. Insiders have access to Optical Underground's exclusive stock and accelerating markdowns. Follow the company on Facebook and Pinterest. Visit Optical Underground in San Francisco or online at www.opticalunderground.com.

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