There is a common misconception that contacts need to be expensive to be high-quality. Hawkers has set out to prove these assumptions wrong, partnering with a manufacturer who has over 40 years of experience. By cutting out all of the middle-man players in the contacts game, Hawkers is able to provide major savings to their customers.
Hawkers President Alejandro Betancourt Lopez started working with the company in 2016. Up to that point Hawkers had been largely self-funded, but the stylish sunglasses brand struggled to keep up with demand and suffered losses that led to rounds of cash influx and a new president.
Alejandro Betancourt Lopez is taking brave steps with the company. After spending the past three years researching prescription contacts, he has started a subscription service to add to the robust selection of shades.
Hawkers Launches Subscription Contacts Service to Broaden Customer Base
One of Alejandro Betancourt Lopez’s favorite quotes is from Virgil: “Fortune favors the brave.”
Moving into contacts was a change that didn’t come without careful preparation. The company already had a huge following of brand fans that have appreciated economical pricing on designer-style sunglasses. The contacts had to retain high quality in line with Hawkers branding, while offering their approach to low-cost products.
His move into the contacts offering is no different than his approach to any business partnership in life. “Always surround yourself with good people and build teams that deliver high performance,” says Alejandro Betancourt Lopez. He knows that top quality often requires a lot of work from the leadership of a team, trickling down into every aspect of the brand.
When asked about a habit that makes him more productive as an entrepreneur, Alejandro Betancourt Lopez responded, “Being annoying and tedious until I see things done.”
The Tedious Task of Excellence in Eyewear
Alejandro Betancourt Lopez has a methodical approach that prevented him from rushing into the new eye contacts venture without being completely sure of the value.
He spent a tedious three years learning the contact lens industry so he could ensure the product offered top quality and comfort. In order to utilize an established model, Hawkers acquired Loopas for the omnichannel logistics and expanded distribution capabilities. The manufacturing partner is highly qualified and well-experienced to handle Hawkers product needs.
All Hawkers contact lenses are manufactured in Europe to maintain quality. Each box of 30 daily-use lenses costs just 12.5 euros, which is far lower than the typical 18-20 euro price tag of comparable competitor brands. Boxes are delivered straight to the consumer’s door on a monthly basis (or as scheduled), removing the traditional distribution channel for cost-effectiveness.
The Hawkers website notes, “Daily contact lenses are not very expensive to produce. The overhead of inefficient business models just makes it seem like they are.” Getting used to inflated prices has numbed many to the unnecessarily high cost of contacts, according to Hawkers. Their lower prices aren’t due to any cut in quality, just a cut of the middle-parties that often leach onto the distribution chain to take a slice of the product pie.
Hawkers wanted to offer a fair price that didn’t gouge someone for their eyecare. The lenses are made with high-performance silicone hydrogel and AquaGen™ technology to maintain moisture, even in dry eyes. They are designed to be comfortable and breathable.
Innovative Eyewear Gave Hawkers Grassroots Start
Hawkers was founded in 2013 and by 2016 the founders were ready to hand over the reins to a qualified professional that would take the lead.
The initiative and vision of Alejandro Betancourt Lopez made him an easy choice. As Hawkers President, he has to snag great ideas to keep the brand moving in the right direction, while keeping up with the ever-changing consumer demand. The fans expect a fresh and unusual response from Hawkers, thrilled that eyecare costs less for top quality.
He led the brand through its critical transition to digital marketing. He oversees Hawkers but trusts his skilled team of managers to run the day-to-day aspects of the business. His role is strategic; advising and investing where needed. The company started as a $300 business and has grown to sell over 4.5 million sunglasses, worth over $100 million.
When Alejandro had the opportunity to join Hawkers, he had already been searching for new ventures to back, “I wanted to do something new — something exciting and up to date. A friend contacted me to see if I wanted to invest in Hawkers, a Spanish company that sold sunglasses only through a webpage. It was the first Spanish company to use ads on social media and influencers. I got excited and invested. Today, we’re the number one company for sunglasses in Spain.”
He expects Hawkers to continue to expand into more markets in the distant future. The website currently says the brand is looking to extend sales past their current shipping parameters in Europe and France. They mention potentially increasing their daily lens product lines. Perhaps someday, Hawkers will get into other forms of eye care, but at the moment they are proud of the major step to provide high-quality products at the lowest possible pricing.