Vision Direct

Sights on success


Online retailer Vision Direct is looking ahead to the future of eye care. The company sells contact lenses and related products to online consumers at a lower price than the average optician.

“Our business is disrupting the traditional opticians’ industry by providing a compelling combined proposition of improved service with lower prices,” explains Vision Direct CEO Michael Kraftman. “We combine this with effective marketing, highly efficient operations and a strong commitment to fast delivery and excellent customer service.”

While most businesses struggled to cope with the economic downturn, Vision Direct benefited from a new generation of consumers who were happy to experiment with new online brands in order to save money. The eye care specialist now sells to over 40% of the UK’s online market, and it has a significant presence in Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands.

  • Vision Direct sells to over 40% of the UK’s online market

Consumers’ willingness to purchase eyewear online has helped Vision Direct develop quickly and successfully and assisted in the company’s acquisition of its largest competitor in 2014. But with accelerated growth came infrastructural changes, as Michael explains. “The biggest challenge has been managing growth, particularly attracting talented people and implementing systems,” he says. “Building a top management team has been a slow process, with some mistakes along the way. Getting the right balance between our entrepreneurial spirit and a more formal, systemised approach, which is essential as we grow, has been difficult at times.”

Now that the company has mastered this balance, its future looks bright. Contact lenses will gain a larger share of the optical market, as innovations make them more comfortable to wear and more suitable for older people, predicts Michael.