The Year 2014: part 5

januari 5, 2015

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For the independent Dutch opticians last year might be remembered as the year in which the first optician got its FOAB certificate. That honour was for Van der Leeuw Optiek at Delft. It might be due to all the attention for this certification and the increased attention for efficiency but in the Netherlands the amount of consultants seems to grow exponential. That means even more focus on “processing”, “protocol” and ‘organisation”. Maybe we can win some here but one can question whether this will be enough to make the difference. Improving is not the main thing although it is always good. The optical industry need to change and become more extrovert. This seems to be a tough thing for most opticians but it is necessary as we all know that it will not be the strongest that survive but those who are able to adapt to changing circumstances.

Zienrs was launched in 2014. The new collective drew attention by giving away a car to attract people to like its Facebook page, with posts at social media and with the first two magazines it published. To roll out the concept completely, it seems to wait until all members are certified which will certainly happen this year. Some commotion was caused when eye doctors published a report in which they discussed the position of optometrists in optical stores. They think business and eyecare should be separated which is actually a few steps back in the Netherlands where opticians and optometrists in optical stores are perfectly educated and equipped for their job.

The discussion is not yet finished. 3D technology and new materials like wood, bamboo, velvet and denim got a lot of attention. Sustainability finally seems to be taken seriously. A new brand was born in Amsterdam: Dick Moby. Google Glass was a hype but not anymore. And finally we saw the launch of NanaWoody&John. This new Platform to promote independent opticians starts from the Netherlands but doesn’t know borders and aims to inform and inspire about eyewear worldwide. It got a lot of attention already. Its “storytelling online” with the added value that you can find all these stories, stores, brands and specialists all at the same website.

It brings us back to where we started. Are we business men or lovers and tastemakers? The new year will certainly sharpen the contradictions in the market. We are looking forward to analyse it and comment on everything we see and experience. Stay tuned!

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