SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Since adding eyeglasses to its eye-care set, Martin's Super Markets here has boosted sales of lens and general eye-care solutions by as much as 20%, according to Ken Luzney, director of nonfoods.
"This has really helped sales in the chemical area. It has focused attention on it and tells people we're in the eye-care business," Luzney said.
"As people are getting older, glasses seem to be a necessary evil," he added.
About three-fourths of Martin's 17 stores have installed eyeglass displays next to the 4-foot in-aisle eye-care set within the health and beauty care department, Luzney said. The display was created by the retailer in cooperation with the supplier, Ready Vision. Incorporated in the display are 96 eyeglass stockkeeping units along with accessories and repair kits, Luzney said.
Luzney said Martin's best-selling eye-care product is a private-label saline solution from Roundy's, Pewaukee, Wisc., the chain's primary wholesaler. Martin's carries five Roundy SKUs, each of which outsells its branded equivalent, he said. "It really boils down to customers' confidence that the private-label product is a quality product."
Since the rollout began last summer, sales of the glasses themselves have been "excellent," according to Luzney. There are three price points: $14, discounted to $9.99; $18, discounted to $12.49; and $20, discounted to $13.49. Margins are 35% to 45%.
"The customer sees a very significant savings; it makes them [the glasses] more consumable," Luzney said. "And we get a good markup on them."