Brad Kirschner: After you get your eyes checked, you come out and you pick out your glasses. People will measure the distance between your eyes and the height of the bifocals. Our system does the measurements for the fitting and not for the prescription itself. They just bring their prescription to the kiosk.
Sramana Mitra: Where do you see opportunities in e-commerce in general? In particular, in the eyewear space.
Brad Kirschner: It speaks to a challenge that I’ve had in my business. I definitely know the eyewear space really well. I’ve learned to know the safety space as well. Because of the type of product that we developed, it has applications both in retail optical as well as safety optical and other safety products.
It’s been hard for me to navigate where we should focus our energy on. We have people talking to us all the time about putting the kiosks in every Walmart. We also have people saying, “Why don’t we put more safety products?” We have gone back and forth on this over the years. It has been a challenge.
I will say that the changes in those two different markets are completely different. In the retail optical space, there’s a lot of movement towards telehealth and being able to do eye exams remotely. In the US, there’s a huge amount of consolidation as there are fewer and fewer private practices.
It has changed the landscape in terms of how an individual practice can compete. It also affects the quality of care that people are able to get as the choices diminish over time.
It’s been an interesting thing to watch as we’ve been in the optical space but a little bit adjacent by focusing on safety. We’re in a little bit of a bubble but we definitely notice everything that’s going on there. There is tremendous opportunity in the optical space on the telehealth side. I see that as the future.
In the safety space, it’s interesting because a lot of old companies that have been doing a great job for a long time are continuing to service large factories. While the rest of the US and Canada are moving towards ordering more online and ordering off Amazon, the B2B hasn’t quite moved there.
They’re ordering from people or sending people to stores to place orders. It’s been slow moving towards more of an e-commerce type of market. In the e-commerce space, B2B is probably one of the largest untapped market.
Sramana Mitra: Thank you for your time.