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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW : RiA meets OWNDAYS’ CEO

awowndays

OWNDAYS is an international optical retail concept founded in Tokyo, Japan. It currently has more than 120 stores in Japan and has successfully established stores in 10 overseas countries in Asia-Pacific.

SEE ALSO : Bluebell opens two stores in one day to kick-off OWNDAYS’ expansion plan in HK

This year, OWNDAYS will expand its network to its 11th overseas market – Hong Kong, in partnership with Bluebell to execute an aggressive roll-out plan with privilege access to various shopping malls thanks to Bluebell’s years of experience and strong network.

OWNDAYS has started with 2 shops on 31st July located at East Point City, the first large-scale multi-function shopping mall in Tseung Kwan O, and Tuen Mun Town Plaza, which has been acknowledged as the largest shopping mall in the Northwest New Territories in HK.

During the openings, OWNDAYS’ President & CEO, Mr. Shuji Tanaka, welcomed press and fans and we asked him about his plans for the Hong Kong market.

RiA : What’s the concept behind OWNDAYS?  

Mr. Shuji Tanaka : OWNDAYS’ concept has its foundations on three pillars: Simple Price, Quick Service, and Value.

Simple Price, because our set prices are clear. Prices indicated on the frames at OWNDAYS are comprehensive of frames and lenses, without any hidden costs.

Other optical shops may recommend the customers to choose thin lenses after they choose the frame, making the price system unclear and quite tricky. At OWNDAYS, there are no surprises when it comes to prices.

Quick Service, because besides the short waiting time to collect the glasses upon payment, our staff is also trained to reply quickly and precisely to each customer’s enquiry or complaint.

Value, because as we value our customers, we work directly with manufacturers, so that our prices can be competitive. Some of the optical shops are distributors and therefore may set higher prices due to their margin structures on dealing with several suppliers.

RiA : What’s your brand positioning comparing to other eyewear retail companies?

Mr. Shuji Tanaka : OWNDAYS has a wider portfolio of products comparing to other eyewear retail companies.

Throughout the years, we have developed different lines, which can satisfy both Asian and Western customers, from children to millennials, to elderlies.

Among our brands, there are very sophisticated collections, vintage designs, playful mixes, such as: Graph Belle, John Dillinger, and JUNNI.

Graph Belle

Graph Belle is a brand for sophisticated ladies. With charming and feminine frames, the portfolio includes a rich selection from modern-designed to classic designed frames. They are simple but full of playful spirit, catered to ladies willing to make eyewear a distinctive trait of their outfit.

John Dillinger

In the early 1930s, John Dillinger was highly supported by the citizens as a benevolent thief in the Midwestern United States. The brand, borrowing his name, revisits his period and history and it blends it to the present by creating a neo-classic collection. From the standard to the unique designs, each frame has its own name with motifs from 1960’s famous people.

JUNNI

This brand is for modern kids with fashionable senses. Characterized by a playful mix of colours and cool designs, the original KIDS frames are named “Junni”. This collection has also enchanted adults as those ones with small faces could enjoy the design.

RiA : As you have a wide distribution network in Japan and successfully expanded to 11 oversea market including HK, what’s your customer’s profile?

Mr. Shuji Tanaka : As suggested by our portfolio of products, OWNDAYS covers a huge and diverse pie in the market. Across the world, OWNDAYS is the choice of different demographics.

OWNDAYS’ glasses are not just glasses for those who need to wear glasses, they have become fashion accessories to play with.

More and more, OWNDAYS’ staff has seen customers buying several pairs of glasses to match with outfits and other accessories. Millennials, in particular, like to experiment, from more vintage to quite new designs, and one colour is never enough.

In this vein, OWNDAYS’ affordable price strategy has boosted sales of glasses as lifestyle accessories rather than simple commodities.

RiA : Is there any difference across countries, and which one is the common denominator among OWNDAYS’ aficionados?

Mr. Shuji Tanaka : For example, Japanese customers go for functionality. They prefer resting lenses which will not tire them even after a whole day spent in front of a computer. Hong Kong and Taiwan customers, instead, prefer lenses able to give them maximum in terms of vision, regardless of how tiring wearing them for an extended period might be.

At the end of the day, all customers want quality & style for good value, and attentive service & after sales support.

 RiA : What are the characteristics of your retail concept?

Mr. Shuji Tanaka : Our retail concept is all about retail staff and products. The store design is thought to provide our products with maximum visibility, making them stand out from the showcases.

The core of our retail success is our staff, which is carefully selected and trained. OWNDAYS’ selling proposition lies in the after sales service support. Nevertheless, the customer’s first contact with the brand is of paramount importance thus the key role our front-line retail staff bears within the roll-out of stores.

Training is mandatory for all our retail staff. They also receive a technical one to ensure all our customers are given exceptional support. We believe in equity which is why all our employees are eligible to become store managers. In fact, they are the one voting to appoint the right person for the position. Our hope is for all our employees to embrace OWNDAYS culture and become true fans of the brand.

RiA : What collections are you launching in HK?

Mr. Shuji Tanaka : All the collections available in Japan, our main market, will be launched in HK. Indeed, as we know HK customers are highly demanding, we wish to provide them with our full portfolio range so as to satisfy to the greatest extent this quite diverse pool of customer.

RiA : OWNDAYS is keen on working with different platforms from different industries, what are the latest brand activations?

Mr. Shuji Tanaka : Recently we had a collaboration with Fashion Designer Kansai Yamamoto and this collection is now available in Japan and will soon land in Hong Kong too.

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RiA : As your target definitely includes tech-savvy generation, what’s your digital marketing strategy?

Mr. Shuji Tanaka : In terms of digital marketing strategy, OWNDAYS has a localized social media strategy.

As we are growing rapidly, we create content to promote our next openings, as we did for the first two stores in HK, and we are very much focusing on video content right now.

Besides digital marketing, we are aware of the power of sponsorships and product placements with celebrities. Therefore, OWNDAYS is keen on working with different platforms from different industries, including participation in one of the largest fashion shows in Japan – ‘Tokyo Girls Collection’ in 2010, and as one of the official sponsors of the world’s first large scale fashion tournament for top stylists – ‘World Runway Premiere’ in 2011. OWNDAYS also sponsored the 4th Okinawa International Movie Festival in 2012.

Stay tuned to know more about OWNDAYS’ expansion plans!

*Bluebell is the owner of Retail in Asia

 

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