Vancouver-born, direct-to-consumer eyewear brand KITS officially launched today and is ready to disrupt an industry dominated by a few.
Led by a team of industry veterans including Roger Hardy, KITS is backed by over 70 years of combined experience culminating in an eyewear brand that has quietly grown to over one million customers, while remaining profitable, and is on track to surpass $100 million in North American revenue in 2020.
That impressive traction is thanks to the 2019 acquisition of LD Vision Group, an independent direct eye care retailer with over one million customers and $50 million in existing revenue.
KITS wants to reinvent the industry’s manufacturing, distribution, and delivery norms by producing its products from its local manufacturing facilities in Richmond, B.C. allowing the new brand to reduce shipping time and environmental impact when compared to overseas production alternatives.
“For far too long the eyewear industry has been dominated by major players that no longer prioritize the customer experience,” said Joseph Thompson, Co-Founder and COO of KITS. “We saw the opportunity to do things differently and we’re thrilled to provide consumers with designer eyewear at affordable prices, and without the long wait and hassle of having to leave the home or office.”
KITS is founded by Hardy, Thompson, and Sabrina Liak. Hardy is best known for selling Coastal Contacts to Essilor in 2014 for $435 million and more recently for a less impressive conclusion with Shoes.com.
Liak brings over a decade of experience with Goldman Sachs to drive the financial operations of KITS while Thompson, previously with Procter and Gamble before refining his e-commerce expertise with Amazon, oversees the company’s day to day operations.
“If ever there was a year to revolutionize eyewear, it is 2020.” said Liak, Co-Founder of KITS. “The eyewear industry has become a market of overpriced product and long shipping times that no longer serve the customer. We look forward to changing the eyewear game and rethinking how customers are served in this archaic category.”
To demonstrate product and service confidence, KITS is offering customers their first pair of eyeglasses absolutely FREE.
KITS is also set to release Canada’s first-ever online optical exams later this year.