hello all, a while back i asked where i could find some good London Opticians. I went around today to visit the Opticians, and that some of them are no longer around, unfortunately. The following stores were gone:
- Mallon and Taub 35d Marleybone High Street (shop now vacant)
- Chatoo and Co 176 The Strand (sign still up but store empty)
- Viren Jani 100 Mount Street: now a coffee shop
- Eyes for You 14 South Molton Street: no longer there another store in its place
So, obviously it was dissapointing the above shops are all gone! It seems like David Clulow in London has taken over, and to me, this seems like a very bad thing for the following reasons (I am looking for Oliver Peoples so will be specific to this experience)
1) selection in sizes: Oliver Peoples often have 2-3 sizes per frame. The selection at David Clulows (I went to 4 stores) is poor - they only a small selection of frames. Also - they only seem to carry 1 size in any frame, maybe 2 colours.
- David Clulow can order frames in BUT you have to purchase them or use them as store credit (pretty hard to purchase eyeglasses you have yet to try on)
Of the independent stores (at least they look independednt) I found (Roger Pope, 20/20 Optical) the same rules for Oliver Peoples applies - they can order them in if you leave a deposit and you have to take them or settle for a frame in-store that you does not necessarily fit you.
THe only good part of the day - Schuller Opticians on Lambs Conduit Street. They had virtually NO stock (which is poor!) BUT they will order in up to 2 frames for you to try and, and you are under no obligation to buy (since they carry low/no stock they will simply keep the frames as Oliver Peoples do not take frames back I understand).
The theme for the day has been similar to other shopping experiences I have had of late - consumer choice is diminishing. A gentlemen at Roger Pope who had been there many years said 15 years ago their frames were all available in 5-10 widths, now, they carry one width. When I went shopping for shoes recently i disconvered a similar theme - retailers are just carrying one generic width, most no longer stock a healthy selction of widths (besides Edward Green, Churches, Crockett and Jones, Barkers and a few others).
Finaly, i brought a 10 year old pair of Gucci frames to David Clulow to adjust slightly - they did so kindly. The gentlmen said the quality on my 10 year old Gucci glasses far superior to the Gucci Luxotica produced frames of today.
- quality diminishing (girl at David Clulow told me frames should only last 2-3 years/!???)
- selection diminishing (hard to find any selection of widths)
If there was ONE store that had the full range of colours and widths of Oliver Peoples I would have happily purchased 2 pair today. However, all i can find is David Clulwo (whose stores all carry the same model, size and colours and are VERY limited in selection) and a few independents that havea few models - none of which fit me properly.
Anyways - I am left very unhappy, and with no glasses. I am going to get new lenses in my old Gucci pair - and I will have to try trial and error at Schuller Opticians. If that does not work - I will try ordering different widths in a frame or two online if i can return the rest...