The Canadian optical retail market has attracted yet another new foreign entrant; this time emanating from France. Optical Center recently opened three Montreal locations, however their aspirations are much greater, according to a recent article published in Retail-Insider (RI).

The director of development in Quebec, Benjamin Blais, told RI that OC is looking to 40 or 50 stores in Quebec alone. The plan is to build a franchise concept on top of the success of the first stores.

Among the three stores, the Point-Claire store in the Anglophone area of Montreal has a different concept from the others. “If this one works very well, maybe we think of moving West or maybe even South,” says Blaise.

Optical Center added audiology services to their eye care portfolio 12 years ago in Europe. In Canada, they are one of the first stores to combine professional eye care and audiology services. One audiologist has been hired to make the rounds between the three Montreal-based locations.

Canadian Eye Care business review has previously reported on foreign interests entering the Canadian market as well as the aggressive expansion of Canadian-based retailers.

Optical Center’s  Quebec website features a range of branded eyewear, sunglasses, low vision and audiology accessories. Optical Center is based in France with the first store opening in 1991. The company currently has 522 stores in seven countries90 per cent of them in France. The others are in Spain, Turkey, Switzerland, Belgium, Israel and now Canada.