Tandy Brands Accessories announced the addition of a new Eyewear Division which expands their presence as a leading fashion accessories company into the emerging new category of reading glasses. The companyвЂ™s Eyewear Division team, which is located in San Francisco, has more than 10 yearsвЂ™ collective experience in the eyewear industry.
The new Eyewear Division gives Tandy Brands access into an above-average growth segment that has appeal to both current and potential new retail partners. The company said that according to industry analysts, the U.S. eyewear market is growing 6-8 percent annually.
вЂњEyewear is quickly emerging as a growth category in the fashion accessories sector,вЂќ said Rod McGeachy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tandy Brands. вЂњOver the past 20 years, the reading glass market has evolved from a commodity purchased in a drug store, to a true fashion accessory. Our research indicates that 44 percent of current reading glasses users consider them to be a fashion accessory, versus just 29 percent in 2005.вЂќ
The company said that it will offer private label, branded and licensed eyewear products to its retail partners. For example, the company is partnering with Eileen West to develop high end readers branded as Eileen West Black Label, while also developing a moderate line under the Classics by Eileen West label that will be sold through mass merchants. These licensed eyewear products will complement the line of Eileen West-licensed handbag products currently offered by Tandy Brands.
вЂњInitial retailer response to our eyewear product line has been very encouraging, whether it is department stores, specialty retailers or mass merchants,вЂќ said Mr. McGeachy. вЂњThe consumer buying readers is also purchasing belts, wallets and neckwear. This enables Tandy Brands to partner at a greater level with our retail partners in providing them with a broad array of accessories products.вЂќ
The company expects to start shipping the new eyewear line in early fiscal 2010, which begins July 1, 2009. The company will source the eyewear products in China and has agreements in place with multiple suppliers.
вЂњWe expect the new eyewear line to be a strong contributor to revenue and, more importantly, profit growth in fiscal 2010 and to establish itself as a core product category for the company,вЂќ said Mr. McGeachy.