From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
IndustryInternet Retailer, e-commerce
FoundedOctober 4, 2000; 23 years ago (2000-10-04) (as
FoundersRoger Hardy
Michaela Hardy
Key people
Roy Hessel, Arnaud Bussières
ProductsGlasses, Contact lenses and Sunglasses
Number of employees

Clearly is an online retailer of contact lenses, eyeglasses and sunglasses. The company was acquired by EssilorLuxottica Canada, and is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia.[1] They are one of the largest online contact lens retailers in North America, and the largest seller of prescription eyeglasses online in the world.[2][3]


Founded in 2000 as Coastal Contacts by Roger Hardy and his sister Michaela Hardy, who bought the keyword "contact lens" from AltaVista, which meant that all searches for "contact lens" were accompanied with Coastal Contacts' banner ads.[4][5] In the first day, they had 30 orders; within the first month, they had $68,000 in sales.[4] In addition to their lower pricing, the firm provided same day fulfillment of online orders.[2][6]

In 2004, Coastal Contacts raised $6 million in an initial public offering, which they used to expand into the United Kingdom and parts of Europe.[3][4] In late 2004, they acquired a mail order contact lens business in Europe, LensWay.[4] In 2006, they acquired two more companies: one in the Netherlands and one in Japan.[4][7] By 2009, the firm increased their revenue to $140 million.[4] They moved into the eyeglasses market in 2008.[2][4] They source parts for eyeglasses from independent manufactures across the globe, but maintains control over final assembly.[4]

In January 2012, they shipped over 80,000 prescription eyeglasses, setting a service record for online sales of made-to-order prescription glasses in any one month. In 2012, the company had sold more than $1.2 billion in retail eyewear sales over the internet since inception and served more than 5 million customers.[8]

In 2014, French lens manufacturer Essilor acquired and appointed Roy Hessel as CEO.[9] Hessel, a former venture capitalist, founded online eyewear retailer Eyebuydirect in 2005. Aside with his role with Clearly, Roy Hessel is also since 2016 VP of America for the Essilor Online division. In August 2017, he appointed a new Managing Director at Clearly to help him in designing and implementing the strategy of the company.[10]

In 2015, Clearly Contacts re-branded itself as Clearly, while also making brand name changes in other global markets such as Australia and New Zealand. In the United States, they are known as Coastal.[11][12]

In September 2017, Arnaud Bussières joined Clearly as Managing Director.[13] He became CEO in January 2018.[14]

In 2018, Essilor merged with the Luxottica Group to become the largest eyewear retail group in the world.[15]

In 2019, Clearly acquired Australian online retailer OzContacts.[16]

In 2022,, the brands U.S. based website, was merged into EyeBuydirect.


Clearly, then known as Coastal Contacts, initially exclusively sold contact lenses on their storefronts.[4] As of 2017, the online store sells around 100 types of contacts,[17] including daily and extended wear lenses, and coloured contact lenses.[18]

In 2008, the company began selling eyeglasses and sunglasses. As of 2017, they sell glasses from over 100 brands.[19] In 2012, they sold more than one million pairs of eyeglasses, making them the largest online seller of eyeglasses in the world.[20]


  1. ^ "Having problems? Let us help you -". Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  2. ^ a b c Harnish, Verne. 5 ways to get your business strategy right. CNN Money. April 6, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Brohan, Mark. Groupon helps Coastal Contacts build awareness--and sales--in the U.K.. Internet Retailer. March 3, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Mitra, Sramana. Building A Niche E-Commerce powerhouse: Coastal Contacts CEO Roger Hardy. Sramana Mitra. November 12, 2010.
  5. ^ Bitti, Mary. Clearly a Winning Strategy Archived 2012-02-04 at the Wayback Machine. Canadian Retailer. August 1, 2009.
  6. ^ Castle, Geoff. The 100-Mile Investor. Business in Vancouver. October 27, 2009.
  7. ^ Anderson, Fiona. Doing business in China: know your customers. The Vancouver Sun. February 7, 2012.
  8. ^ Coastal Sets New Service Standard in Online Eyeglasses Category. Yahoo News. February 16, 2012.
  9. ^ [2] Vision Monday. April 29, 2014.
  10. ^ [1] "newswire". September 8, 2017.
  11. ^ "Clearly Contacts rebrands itself as simply "Clearly"". Canadian Business - Your Source For Business News. 2015-05-13. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  12. ^ Staff. "Coastal Contacts Rebrands to 'Clearly' in Various Forms Through Its Global E-Commerce Sites". Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  13. ^ "Clearly Appoints Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer". Newswire. September 8, 2017.
  14. ^ "Leadership Team". Clearly.
  15. ^ "EssilorLuxottica agrees €7bn deal for rival GrandVision". Financial Times.
  16. ^ "Clearly seeks to chart eye-popping growth". BIV. September 24, 2019.
  17. ^ "Buy Contact Lenses Online & Save Money with Clearly Canada". Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  18. ^ Jordan, David. Clearly Contacts CEO Roger Hardy Archived 2012-03-05 at the Wayback Machine. BCBusiness. November 3, 2010.
  19. ^ "Eyewear". Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  20. ^ "Peep this: Laying eyes on the Canadian revolution in eyewear". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2017-05-04.