Inside New Look’s new look

Lg2 revamped the optometry brand's visual style to make the customer journey more intuitive and "beautiful."

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Eyewear retailer New Look is taking a three-pronged approach to its store redesign, keying in on the beauty of premiumization, wayfinding and the expertise of its staff and optometrists.

“We talk about creating brand love and being beautiful…those are the words that we use,” says Jean-Michel Maltais, SVP, omnichannel for New Look Vision Group. The eyewear business, Maltais points out, is at the crossroads of fashion and healthcare. “The new fashion item everybody wears is their glasses.”

Another insight the retailer leaned into was wayfinding. The store layout was meant to create an eye flow for greeters lead clients to a pre-exam area, for a 3D scan and then a meeting with the optometrist.

The overhaul of 100 stores across the country, 80 of which are in Quebec, also includes a full rebrand for New Look Eyewear. The new in-store experience and accompanying design overhaul came from Lg2′s customer experience team.

“When we did the repositioning, we really came up with the importance of design, fashion and quality, and the expertise of our people,” Maltais says. Most stores in the category, he says, are a combination of blandness and intimidation. By contrast, with its oak wall design “lounge,” rich colour scheme and large barber chairs, the new New Look stores try to look more like a cigar lounge than an optometrist.

The lounge is where opticians do final adjustments on a pair of frames.

“It’s kind of where the magic happens,” Maltais says, and it’s a part of the store New Look wanted to emphasize.

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Other brands have attempted to make shopping for eyewear more stylish and less bland than the major changes, namely ones with roots in DTC, like Clearly and Warby Parker. Competition in the category is also set to heat up now that British brand Specsavers announced it has its eye on opening about 200 stores across Canada. But Maltais says the fact that New Look has been able to grow in a market that is more competitive than other new markets Specsavers has expanded to puts it in a solid position.

Maltais stresses that the Lg2 work was conceived in August 2019, well in advance of that competitor’s entry, and was done to keep the New Look brand, first launched in the 80s, fresh and appealing to younger consumers. Historical brands, he warns, can quickly become “your grandparent’s place to shop” if not given consistent upgrades.

The redesign also includes new tech. A biometric 3D scan of the face helps customers go beyond the number of frame models available in-store and virtually try on eyewear from the entire New Look inventory.

“It’s becoming more important, specially with the pandemic, as people have started to purchase online more and more,” Maltais says. “The Dream Journey” for a customer, he says, was designed with omnichannel in mind.

Customers can a 3D scan as part of pre-test. It’s able to do a preselection of eyewear suggestions based on the scan, which speeds up the instore visit. Also, it can sell bespoke eyewear and creating frames from scratch. When the customer goes home, they can also complete their purchase online when retrieving their scan, if they so choose, or to make an additional purchase based on their previous scan.

New Look launched a TV campaign ahead of the redesign, and is coming to market with another one shortly.

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