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Eyewear dealer Optica opens new outlet at city’s Westgate mall




A customer tries on reading glasses at an Optica shop in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Eyewear dealer Optica has opened an outlet at the Westgate mall amid ongoing plans to further expand its services across the region.

The new shop brings its branch count to 33 in Kenya in a move it says is targeted at offering customers authentic products.

The Westgate branch will also be the 17th the dealer operates in Nairobi as it plans two more outlets in Machakos and Kiambu in the next two weeks.

“Westgate is a niche mall and the clientele around here have been requesting repeatedly for us,” said Wazeem Mohamed, Optica’s head of retail.

He said the firm’s ambitious expansion plan is driven by a desire to offer qualified optometrist services in an industry teeming with fakes.

The dealer provides a range of frames and sunglasses which it says is meant to provide the public with more options.

Optica, a family-owned business, was started 60 years ago by current non-executive chairman Bharat Bhardwaj on Nairobi’s Moi Avenue.

Today, the dealer offers all major ophthalmic lens brands and stocks about 10,000 different frames with some retailing for as little as Sh890.

Last year, it opened branches in Eldoret and Thika with a target of growing its customer base in Western Kenya and Central regions respectively.

“In a month’s time, we will introduce to the market the Paul Redford brand,” Mr Mohamed, said adding that each frame type at Optica comes in six options, addressing colour and size needs.

Nine years ago, Optica ventured into making its own eyewear, launching a brand called Oxygene in the local market while continuing to stock international brands. Four years ago it introduced another of its own brands, Cactus, to build on the success of the first innovation.