The second-biggest chain of pharmacies in Russia, Rodnik Zdorovia, has launched a new retail chain of free-standing eyewear stores, targeting the low-priced segment of the market. Called OptikGuru and run by Mikhail Sereda, the new chain has already opened five optical retail stores and there are plans for 15 others for the balance 2018 – all of them in St. Petersburg.

Rodnik Zdorovia had been running small eyewear corners in some of its pharmacies for some time. The company decided to start the new project because it expects the new dedicated optical retail stores to generate higher profit margins, with a payback in around two years on investments of about three million rubles (€45,000-$50,000) per each store.

There are 900 eyewear stores operating in St. Petersburg, most of them focused on selling premium and medium-priced eyewear. According to the management, there is a potential for 40 to 50 OptikGuru stores in St. Petersburg and the surrounding province, but it doesn't rule out openings in other cities, partly through franchise agreements.