Are you a consumer who is bored of going to the typical UK high street optical chains? Feel like your local independent opticians are a little pricey in comparison to the chains? Well, I have the answer for you, Acuitis.
I came across Acuitis after a day of trekking around press days. The store is massive and it is pretty close to Tottenham Court Road station. Initially, when I walked past, I actually thought it was an Apple store, then I thought I hadn’t heard Apple was opening a new store on Tottenham Court Road. So, I got closer and investigated, to my utter surprise, it was a massive optical store with a very sleek and stylish store design. Acuitis is not your ordinary optical store that is for sure, I was impressed straight away!
Acuitis – First Impressions
It didn’t feel like I was walking into a typical optical store, it didn’t have that clinical, serious vibe which a lot of the opticians ooze. It just felt really relaxed and I can look at eyewear at my own pace. I got chatting to one of the assistants in the store and she very kindly gave me a tour of the store and explained the concept. Acuitis already exist in Europe, so it isn’t something brand new but the founders decided it was time to break into the UK market and give the UK consumers what we have all been waiting for.
So what can you buy?
You will find that 99% are Acuitis frames but you may find a handful of Rayban sunglasses, but by handful I mean maybe 10 out of the entire store. If you ask me their own range of sunglasses is way better than Rayban with a very purse friendly price starting from £30! I actually think it will be near impossible to go in there and not find something you like or suitable for your budget. The price starts from £40 per frame which includes single vision lenses. If you want something a little more special, they also offer buffalo horn and other material such as bamboo, wood and even slate but yes, they do cost more, naturally.
If that doesn’t get you a little bit excited then they also sell the replicas of iconic glasses, from Audrey Hepburn to Winston Churchhill (from £150 with single vision lenses). You really can “get the look” of your favourite iconic star.
The glasses they offer are not just for adults, they also do a range of children’s glasses which are super cool, just like the adults. The best bit is that ALL Acuitis glasses are made in France which is pretty impressive considering how reasonably priced they are.
I want to give a shout out to their contact lens and hearing aid service too. I was told in Europe, anyone can just walk into a shop and buy contact lenses, but in the UK a prescription is needed before any contact lenses can be sold. With Acuitis, they have brought in this European way of working, the contact lenses are on the shelves which you can just walk in and buy, but the shop assistant will need to see your prescription before they are allowed to sell them to you.
On top of that, I was also super impressed with the hearing aids they offer, I do not know enough to tell you too much, but it certainly feels like you will be getting the best and the latest in the world of hearing aid. How they display them, felt like you are just at the apple store trying some headphones on, all very nicely put together and just cool.
Finally, yes, of course, they do eye examinations there too. It is everything under one roof, but just done in a super modern way. They have all the latest gadgets to test your eyes and there is even a little card which tells you what each machine does and what they test for which I think it is a nice little touch. Quite often you get taken into an examination room and they don’t fully explain to you what each of these really scary looking machines is doing to your eyes, or what their purpose is, but not at Acuitis.
My thoughts on Acuitis
I personally welcome this new way of shopping for eyewear. I really do think it is a breath of fresh air for the UK optical industry. I mean, who wants to go and keep seeing racks and racks of glasses in a similar setting? It is pretty dull after a while. For consumers to enjoy the shopping experience is now just as important as offering a good eye examination service. Making shopping for glasses fun and enjoyable could be the next step for the UK optical industry because clearly in Europe, they have been enjoying this way of shopping way longer than us. You can check them out here, then visit Acuitis on Tottenham Court Road and let me know what you think.