The eyewear industry is an enormous business with high margins. Globally, the French based company EssilorLuxottica dominates the market with roughly 30% of market share, garnering over €16 billion in revenue as of 2018 and valued at more than €61 billion in market capitalization. The company’s portfolio includes most well-known brands in the eyewear and fashion business like Bulgari, Coach, Chanel, and Oakley. The eyewear market is likely to grow further with the changing lifestyles in the internet era. According to 2019 Global Digital Reports from We Are Social and Hootsuite, Indonesians spend an average of 8.5 hours on internet screen time. This habitual high exposure to digital screens can have an impact on eye health, which benefits the industry.
Being raised in the family that is familiar with eyewear industry, James Hadisurjo, 25, is certainly aware of the business potential and how to carve the market. He is the grandson of Budi Purnomo from Melawai Group, founder of Optik Melawai — the biggest eyewear retail chains in Indonesia. James started Bridges Eyewear as part of the Melawai Group at the end of 2016 based on his observation that millennials and Generation Xers want fashionable eyewear but simply cannot afford the price tag. Affordable options are in short supply and knock-off branded designer eyewear is of questionable quality. Thus, the company’s philosophy is to bridge customers with high-quality pieces of eyewear without breaking their bank accounts.
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