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Photo from OWNDAYS Singapore.

OWNDAYS Singapore softens tax hike impact on consumers

GM says they cut SG$20 (US$14.95) in over 200 designs and retained the prices across the rest of the products.

AS Singaporeans met 2024 with a goods and services tax (GST) increase to 9%, eyewear brand OWNDAYS Singapore decided to cut SG$20 (US$14.95) in more than 200 spectacles designs to soften the tax hike’s impact.

The price reduction covers its exclusive collections, including John Dillinger, lillybell, Junni (kids range), OWNDAYS Metal, and OWNDAYS Plastic. Aside from this, OWNDAYS will also maintain the prices of all its products both in-store and online, similar to last year’s strategy amidst the GST hike to 8%.

“The entire world is facing a global crisis. Therefore, we took this initiative permanently to reduce $20.” OWNDAYS Singapore General Manager Trevor Hwong told Retail Asia. “Hopefully, by this, we are able to relax the stress level of inflation of Singaporeans.”

What does not change, he said, is that spectacles will remain an essential component in many Singaporeans’ everyday lives. “We aim to make our spectacles accessible and affordable so customers would not need to compromise their opportunity to enjoy good vision and proper eye care due to price concerns,” Hwong said.

Business model

As a brand that adopts a direct-to-consumer model approach, the price reduction does not translate to any losses for OWNDAYS Singapore.

Hwong said that through this approach, they can manage the entire business operations in-house — from design and manufacturing to logistics and retail.

“We are able to eliminate all the mediating factors, allowing us to have a lower cost,” he said.

He added that they are able to attain cost-efficiency as Owndays as a brand has over 500 stores globally and an annual sales volume of over 3.5 million pairs of glasses.

Lessons in the past decade

OWNDAYS celebrates its 10th anniversary in Singapore this year. Hwong shared that one of the key lessons for the company is to keep things simple to ensure that everything will be easier for consumers to understand.

“This is in line with our business concept which centres around these three components: simple, quick and valuable and they have always been the pillars guiding all our business strategies and processes,” he said.

Last year, the biggest challenge the company faced was acquiring talent for their retail store staff, Hwong said.

OWNDAYS Singapore is improving its salary package to attract more talent. On top of this, they also offer an in-house programme to encourage the pursuit of further studies in Opticianry and produce more technicians who fit eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other vision-correcting devices.

Currently, Hwong said OWNDAYS has 33 Singapore stores and they plan to add three more this year.

The company also aims to expand and improve its product offerings to cater to the needs of kids, contact lens users and the elderly.

This is in response to the Ministry of Health’s data projecting that 65% of children in Singapore will develop myopia by 12 years old.

“As such, we see the importance of advocating better eyecare and offering myopia management products to the customers. Similarly to the elderly consumers, there needs to be specialised products to cater for their needs,” he added.

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