(PRESS RELEASE) NOVATO, CA - Zenni Optical, the online optical industry leader, celebrates 15 years of innovation this month with a milestone of 20 million pairs of glasses sold since the company’s founding in 2003.
In the U.S. today, the average brick and mortar retail eyewear store sells roughly 12 pairs of glasses per day at a price point of more than $200 per pair. The 20 million pairs of prescription eyeglasses sold online by Zenni is equivalent to the five-year sales volume of 1,000 brick and mortar stores. Further, 20 million pairs of prescription glasses at the average Zenni cost of $40 per pair has saved its customers several billion dollars over the course of 15 years.
When Zenni launched in 2003, few believed it was even possible to sell prescription glasses online when the consensus potential for eCommerce at the time stretched no further than selling t-shirts or microwaves. Zenni pioneered the online eyewear market as we know it today and is now estimated to command roughly 50 percent of total market sales volume. In 2017, Zenni sold more than four million pairs of glasses, continuing its impressive 25 percent year-over-year annual growth rate. As the company expanded, there has been significant investment in an enterprise level eCommerce platform and advanced automation in manufacturing and lab management software to ensure world-class production efficiency and quality control.
“With a 500 percent increase in year-over-year growth since 2010 and a staggering 269,000 percent increase since we launched the company 15 years ago, Zenni has enjoyed sizable and steady growth throughout the years,” said Tibor Laczay, co-founder, and CEO of Zenni Optical. “The growth of Zenni’s business stems from our mission to offer the highest-quality product at an extremely affordable price with a longer-term vision to supply a global audience where there is a desperate need. Domestically, our loyal and ever-expanding customer base helps influence our frame selection, business processes, and overall customer service.”
Zenni was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area garage of scientists Tibor Laczay and Julia Zhen who never raised venture capital and instead boot strapped their funding through personal savings and strategic financial planning. Today, Zenni operates from its corporate headquarters in Novato, CA and maintains one of the largest end-to-end manufacturing facilities in the world. Totaling nearly one million square feet, the campus in Danyang, China, provides much of Zenni’s competitive edge in the marketplace. Nearly 1,000 employees worldwide work alongside Julia and Tibor to bring their long-term vision of providing inexpensive, yet fashionable eyewear to the global masses. All have been an integral part in helping Zenni produce and sell an average of 15,000 pairs of glasses daily with the lowest starting price point in the industry at $6.95.
“We’re overjoyed to reach this tremendous milestone as a brand,” said Julia Zhen, co-founder, and COO of Zenni Optical. “From the beginning, we’ve believed in delivering real value to consumers and success has come as a byproduct. Making our glasses extremely affordable has given consumers broader access to improved vision while allowing them to create an eyewear wardrobe, and change up their frames to fit their occasion or mood.”
Zenni commands growing influence in the optical industry working closely with some of the industry leaders such as German optical machine manufacturer Schneider and Satis-loh, and Japanese lens monomer giant Mitsui Chemical, to develop its state of the art factory and the latest blue blocking lens technology. Zenni’s platform has democratized eyewear fashion and changed consumer purchase patterns, analogous to how eCommerce liberated many other industries including transportation and retail. Zenni’s average customer owns five pairs of its glasses, enabled by their great affordability, and contrasted to what used to be a one pair average through the traditional brick and mortar model.
With more than 2,500 frames and styles available to choose from, Zenni offers a unique look for every customer. Additionally, Zenni offers single vision, bifocal, progressive and workplace progressive lens options, and is a leading-edge developer of Beyond UV blue light blocking lenses, which provide all-day protection – indoors and out – against the harmful effects of high-energy visible (HEV) blue light and UV rays.