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TSX Symbol: COA
VANCOUVER, May 5 /CNW/ - Coastal Contacts Inc. (TSX: COA) announced today
that it has delivered more than 100,000 pairs of prescription eyeglasses since
launching the program regionally in February, 2008. The Company continues to
expand both the product offering and geographic markets being targeted based
on the early success of the program.
Market research indicates that the market for prescription eyeglasses
exceeds $37 billion annually in markets where Coastal currently competes such
as North America and Europe. In the United States alone, more than 60% of
adults require vision correction and that number is growing owing to the aging
population and increased computer usage resulting in more than 75 million
pairs of prescription eyeglasses being sold annually in that market.
"The market opportunity for high quality eyeglasses, at an affordable
price delivered direct to consumers is immense and we have just scratched the
surface," stated Roger Hardy, Coastal Contacts, Founder and CEO. "By hitting
this milestone after only launching the program regionally, combined with the
overwhelmingly positive feedback we receive from our customers on a daily
basis, it has become clear that the model works and is resonating with
consumers in a challenging economic climate.
We began researching this opportunity three years ago and were appalled
at the prices being charged to consumers by retail optical stores and eye care
practitioners. Consistent with Coastal's vision we developed a product
offering that is simple and transparent: the highest quality branded and
private label frames combined with the highest quality lenses, all treated
with scratch-resistant and anti-reflective coatings, starting at just $38. We
offer an unconditional "no hassle" return policy for the eyeglasses, reducing
any perceived risk of the purchase to zero.
Our experience to date tells us if a consumer tries a pair of Coastal
eyeglasses, they will be wowed by the product, the service and the value they
receive. Many customers who try us once, come back for additional purchases
because they can now afford to own more than one pair of eyeglasses.
We believe a key differentiator for Coastal as this channel develops is
leveraging the two million strong base of active vision corrected customers
Coastal has built since 2000, through supplying them name brand replacement
contact lenses, at a great price and conveniently. The majority of contact
lens wearers also own at least one pair of eyeglasses. In just over a year, we
have become a market leader in this rapidly growing category and the trends we
are experiencing give us confidence that eyeglasses will become a material
component of Coastal's success over the next few years.
It is interesting to note that to date we have received approximately 50%
of our eyeglasses orders from existing contact lens customers, but that the
other 50% are new to Coastal. Accessing this much larger market is exciting
for Coastal from both a revenue and earnings potential perspective."
About Coastal Contacts:
Coastal Contacts Inc. (www.coastalcontacts.com) 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
For further information:
For further information: Terry Vanderkruyk, Vice President, Corporate
Development, Coastal Contacts Inc., (604) 676-4498,