Guest article – Optician Stephan Loth on the subject of private labels (LOTHUS optic)

Dear ONIC community, my name is Stephan Loth, owner of two optician stores in downtown Munich (LOTHUS optic). Adrian asked me to share my experience regarding our private label “Eyesbach” with you. I am very happy to do so! I really like to exchange and share ideas with colleagues. Especially in this challenging times, when many changes are taking place in our industry, it is important to pass on possible ways to success to colleagues. Perhaps one or the other will be inspired by our approach and make it their own.

With my own private label, I am more independent from large brands

I have been self-employed for 14 years and decided quite early to create my own private label, which is only available at my stores. My goal was to be able to implement my own ideas and thus create a certain exclusivity. Furthermore, it has always bothered me that brands often forget to include our work in their recommended retail prices. Minimum purchase quantities increase every year, rent becomes more expensive, finding good employees is more and more cost-intensive. As a result, it is difficult to keep our promise of quality to the customer with the brands recommended prices. My own brand offers me significant advantages in being able to calculate the sales price more freely according to my effort and performance.

By the way, I have also made the experience that it rarely happens that consumers ask for a specific brand. Adrian told me that when his team surveyed spectacle wearers about the brand of their frames, they found that the majority gave the name of the optician. This totally coincides with my experience. Why should we only buy from large brands when we are a brand ourselves?

I wanted a neutral brand name with a regional reference

We are often asked, how we came up with the name of our private label. For us it was clear from the beginning, that the brand name should not be similar to the store name. I was looking for a neutral brand name with a connection to Munich. We came up with the plan to simply ask our customers. Since we are quite active on social media and we createed a small lottery via Facebook and offered a pair of sunglasses to the best idea. W received great suggestions! Together with our employees, we then decided on the “Eyesbach”. A play on words by connection of the word eye and a branch of the Munich river Isar, also called Eisbach in Munich, mainly known for surfing in the middle of the city.

We pay great attention to the quality of our private label

I am also pleased that my colleagues in the stores are fully behind the brand. The main selling point is always that our brand is exclusively available in our stores – nowhere else! This works very well for our customers. We also pay close attention to quality, sustainability and regionality. By now, our private label is one of the top 3 most successful lines in my stores. We are very proud of that.

I hope I have been able to make a small contribution to ensuring that independent opticians continue to have a strong presence in the market. I look forward to further exchanges and I’m available via Facebook or other channels.

Kind regards from your colleague

Stephan Loth

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