Barbara Wright: Design Genius

optical design practice design Barbara Wright INVISION

Fitting Bar borrows a popular retail idea to help serve customers, sell accessories

This article originally appeared in the January 2015 edition of INVISION.

Eyecare professionals often admire Apple’s retail stores and want to bring some of that magic into their dispensaries. That’s why Aurora Eye Care in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada, now has a Fitting Bar where patients can pick up their glasses, buy accessories and contact lens supplies, or get an adjustment.

The counter sports frosted glass dividers for privacy, and it’s high enough so opticians can stand while helping patients seated on stools. The staff can duck behind the display wall to do all adjustments, out of sight from patients. An array of colorful contact lens supplies are neatly organized on shelves behind the counter, all within easy reach for opticians.

The Fitting Bar at Aurora Eye Care in Grande Prairie,
Alberta, Canada. Design by Barbara Wright Design

Flanking the Fitting Bar are adjustable glass display shelves with eyewear on the left and accessory items on the right. Glass shade pendants provide ample but stylish lighting above, and a kiwi green accent wall finishes off the look with a dash of eye-popping color.

A bonus: Patients have to walk through the optical to get to the Fitting Bar. That’s a smart merchandising strategy. Maybe some sunglasses will catch their interest, or perhaps they’ll notice a pretty eyeglass chain that would make a nice gift ... all before they even sit down to pick up their new eyewear.

Barbara L. Wright heads one of North America’s most award-winning and successful optical design firms, Barbara Wright Design. Barbara’s lively personality and humorous style backed with 30 years of “in the trenches” optical design experience make her a popular speaker and author. Get her free educational articles and videos on visual merchandising at