New optician launches with Japanese-inspired vision for future of eyecare
A NEW high-street optician brand which will be the first in Britain to offer Japanese aspheric lenses as standard has opened its first outlet.
Mika & Me will debut its concept at a unit on Park Road in the west end of Glasgow. It is the first of 10 sites that owners Barry Hutcheon and sister Wendy Bremner plan to open throughout the UK in the next two years.
Ten jobs have been created with the opening of the inaugural Mika & Me outlet, with Mr Hutcheon and Ms Bremner signalling hopes to add a further 20 jobs with the addition of two more shops by the end of this year.
Aspheric lenses are thinner, flatter and lighter than their standard counterparts, and according to Mika & Me dominate the market in Asia. The owners, who are Scottish, said in a statement that their ideas for the business have been heavily influenced by the time spent by Mr Hutcheon, an accountant by trade, living in Asia. Ms Bremner has been an optometrist for 28 years.
Mika & Me customers can have their aspheric lenses digitally fitted and leave the store with their new glasses in under an hour, the firm said.
Mr Hutcheon, who has also spent time living in the Middle East, said: “Mika & Me offers a way to purchase glasses and sunglasses that is heavily inspired by the Japanese approach to the consumer experience – and is currently unique to the market in the UK. It is our belief that Mika & Me will revolutionise the approach to purchasing glasses here in Britain.
“Being a Glasgow-headquartered brand, our first shop was always going to be in the city, it’s where we call home. But we firmly believe that Japanese aesthetic lenses, which allows a rapid turnaround in the process of selecting, fitting and walking out of a store with new glasses, will take off. As a result, we are delighted to be pressing ahead with plans which will see us open stores across the country.”
The Park Road store, located close to Kelvinbridge Underground station, launched following an investment of £200,000. Its interior features a painting of a geisha by Glasgow artist Michell Campbell.
Mika & Me plans to launch its own range of eyewear later this year.
Mr Hutcheon added: “Mika & Me prides itself on championing the work of up-and-coming UK eyewear designers, as we strive to offer our customers unique designs from homegrown talent such as Caron, Black Label and Finlay & Co. We are also looking forward to launching our very own brand.”