Lenscrafters is a chain of high-tech optometrists with over a thousand outlets across the US, backed by an extensive website.
It’s owned by Luxottica, the largest eyewear company in the world, so their own-brands really are the designer brands you’d see on other sites. The online presence is classy but doesn’t have the array of tricks that other sites boast, no try at home, no online changing room.
Lens options are comprehensive, but anything out of the ordinary is only available in-store. Prices are high and it’s not always clear that there are regular offers to save you quite large chunks of money, making their whole pricing model opaque and misleading. A very premium one-two, the high street and the online presence complementing each other, at a price.
Everything about Lenscrafters seems thought-out, well-built and expensive. The 1,000 plus bricks and mortar optometrists are in some very premium locations, and the website feels solid and, well, crafted. This is no surprise given the venture’s backers.
The company is owned by Luxottica who you might never have heard of but are actually the world’s largest eyewear manufacturer controlling a quarter of the world’s glasses, including names like Ray-Ban, Oakley and under license Armani, Versace, Dolce and Gabbana and so on. Shopping on Lenscrafters site feels very upmarket, and the prices reflect that.
Lenscrafters review: How it works
- Eye tests in store
- Attractive site but no frills
Year founded: 1983
Pricing starts: $69.95
Delivery time: 5-7 business days
Lenscrafters is unique in that its online presence really does represent only half of what it’s offering. Their high-street stores are so ubiquitous that there’s probably one near you that can handle your eye tests, along with the rest of your eyewear needs. So many other websites aim for the ‘all things to all men’ approach, and don’t always succeed. Lenscrafters doesn’t try to fit square pegs into round holes. When something would be easier in-store, in-store it is.
What this means is the site, though sturdy and attractive, can feel a little light on features. There are no try-on facilities, real or virtual. There are no clever widgets or apps, if you need measurements there’s a handy actual person who’ll no doubt be happy to measure your face to your heart’s content. The site is handsome and functional, but a little boring and staid.
Lenscrafters review: Buying
- Clarifeye robot eye doctor
- Five times more measurements than regular test
The real value you’re getting added is the in-store technology, which Lencrafters boasts is advanced and accurate in ways that actually make your vision sharper. Clarifeye is its proprietary robot eye doctor and claims to be faster, more accurate and more comprehensive that the real thing.
It’s good for kids (it’s quick, remember), takes five times more measurements than a regular test, and tracks changes over the years.
Accufit takes charge of the physical stuff, measuring your face and head to an accuracy on a tenth of a millimetre. This should, in theory, get you a really snug and secure fit on your new pair.
Lenscrafters review: Pricing
- High prices for designer
- Lots of offers
Lenscrafters pricing model isn’t as clear as you’d expect from a maker of lenses, but maybe it makes sense from a huge multinational company. Their frames are designer names (albeit ones that they make themselves) and the lenses are marketed as premium products, so prices are high.
Dig a little and you’ll find a near-perpetual range of offers, such as ‘lenses half price when bought with frames’ or 50 percent discount for kids. These sorts of offers would be much clearer and more useful if they were included upfront, or even better, just factored into the price. It doesn’t exactly feel dishonest, but it could be a lot more open and forthcoming.
Should I buy from Lenscrafters?
Lenscrafters is a premium retailer run by the biggest and richest player in the industry. Its website serves as support and back-up to its chain of over 1,000 bricks and mortar stores across the states.
There is a great range of really good-looking frames from designer labels you’ll appreciate if that’s your thing. Lenses are expensive, but dig around and there are often offers to be had.
The site is simple and don’t expect to try at home – these guys want you in-store. Pricing could be considerably clearer. There are, however, options for people relying on insurance. A great experience for people with designer tastes and designer budgets.