Odyssey India, a wholly owned retail subsidiary of the Indian newspaper group Deccan Chronicle, has rebranded three optical retail stores from The Eyewear Store to STYLEi, and opened the first STYLEi store at Mantri Square Mall in the city of Bangalore. The store has minimum guarantee and revenue-sharing models with the mall.
The Eyewear Store is currently present in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai. Another standalone eyewear store will open after three months. STYLEi is regarded as an extension of the lifestyle segment of Odyssey India, and offers international designer sunglasses and premium branded products spread over 900 square feet.
The original concept of the store was standalone optical stores, while the new concept has three formats ? standalone optical stores with both prescription eyewear and sunglasses, stores in malls with only sunglasses, and shop-in-shops at some of its 58 Odyssey outlets with only sunglasses. Odyssey said that the concept design has also been made more contemporary and international. But the fundamental positioning as a premium and luxury eyewear destination still remains.
The company has invested 7.5 million rupees (€124,300-$162,350) in STYLEi at Mantri Square Mall. STYLEi has a selection of brands from all over the world ranging from basic to premium to luxury and world-class brands. Some of the brands include Emporio Armani, Montblanc, Hugo Boss, Diesel, Calvin Klein, Carrera, Maui Jim, Tommy Hilfiger, Esprit, Fossil, French Connection, Giordano, Guess, Killer Loop, Polaroid, Ray-Ban, Vogue, Oakley, Rudy Project and many more. STYLEi's selection ranges from INR 1,500 (€25-$32) to INR 35,000 (€580-$750). Also, there are designer frames from leading brands costing more than INR 100,000 (€1,650-$2,165) that can be ordered through the store.
Odyssey opened its flagship store in Chennai, in southern India, in 1995. Currently, the company operates 58 Odyssey stores in 13 cities with about 260,000 square feet of retail space. Odyssey made its foray into the optical eyewear category with the launch of The Eyewear Store, a high-fashion destination for international designer sunglasses and prescription frames.
Eyewear as a category has been growing exponentially in India for the past few years and Indian consumers have become fashion-conscious and are moving up the value chain. According to company sources, STYLEi offers designer sunglasses, prescription frames, contact lenses and eye testing under one roof.
Odyssey is targeting customers who have exposure to international brands and inflation-shielded consumers who have high disposable income, 25 years and older.
An express format called Eyewear Express will be a part of the Odyssey stores. Eyewear Express will be smaller version of STYLEi, and will be part of Odyssey's large and express format stores as shop-in-shops. Eyewear Express will focus on branded sunglasses. These shop-in-shops will take up 50 to 300 square feet of retail space.