The first Puntoottico store opened in Alte Ceccato, Vicenza, in 1991. From the very beginning, our purpose was to diversify our optical store from the standard system, disconnecting ourselves from the large distribution prepacked channels. Over time, we have been modifying our offer, proposing collections that focus on the theme of the project and not on the brand.
At that time commercial brands invaded windows and all the opticians used to sell products that did not have a distribution worthy of their name. This meant that all the shops simultaneously offered the same items, driven by the trend of the moment. Puntoottico was the youngest optical store in town. Back then the most successful brand was Giorgio Armani, but since we were a small reality, we were denied the opportunity to sell it. So I thought we could not allow our project to be put at risk by others or be passively subjected to the choice of big companies to work with us or not.
My advantage over competitors was my completely different trade education: my father, owner of a jewelery, used to think the store as a trademark and the sale did not end in itself but was conceived as a marketing, image and communication operation.
The technical and aesthetical value of the products, coupled with competence and attention to human relationships, created that added value that put those brands to a higher level. This way he brought his name and the image of his jewelery to a national level.
Puntoottico was the first reality in the optics sector to suggest this philosophy and with patience and continuous work we managed to gather a team of excellent collaborators who can express the technical, ethical and aesthetical value of products that are almost unknown but which are part of the best collections in the world in terms of quality and brand identity. This is only thanks to the strength of the image we created through a journey of dedication and rigorous respect, never distracting from the final goal.
In these years we opened stores that all have a very strong personality, even though they have the same architectural direction. Since I am against the architectural format typical of commercial chains, in the project of our stores, the architect took inspiration from the city and the location. Our new store in Brooklyn, for example, is overall similar to the Madison Avenue one, but the distribution of spaces, materials and furnishings are differently arranged.
The first store, in Alte Ceccato, had its sale performed standing up. I did not like the concept and the design so we made some changes, allowing our clients to be offered our items while comfortably sitting. In 1998 the architectural direction changed: the new architect deeply modified the structure of the shop, finding modern and functional solutions for our needs. The layout was rethought to make the access orderly and covenient, the fixed furniture was modified to highlight the products, with a design that still makes this store one of those I prefer. Architectural choices are deliberately simple and there are no useless structures that give a false image, with a short duration. The atmosphere and the message change with the window design but the inside remains elegant and timeless. Since then we set all the stores starting from the same concept.
In 1995 we opened in San Bonifacio, in 2000 in Vicenza, in 2003 in Verona, in 2005 in Brescia, in 2009 we took over an optical store in Meda Square, Milano, in 2012 we came to Madison Avenue, New York, and in 2017 to Brooklyn.
Ethics is the mother of aesthetic
Our main thought is ethics: we are fully convinced that the products we propose and the relationship we establish with customers must be commanded by moral correctness and total transparency. All of our products enjoy a superior overall quality compared to our competitors. All the collections in our stores have a certified production: we do not sell collections that do not declare the total truth about their production. In our stores there is no product manufactured in countries where work does not respect the value of the human being and where the use of materials harmful to health and environment is permitted. The collections we propose always have a very strong brand identity and a coherent distribution philosophy that meets our needs.
But we attribute to people the most important value: our employees have no turnover goals and they have never had order to sell a product that is not in line with the customer requirements. Never recommend a product you would not use if you had the same needs as the buyer. This is fundamental for the qualitative level we have the ambition to reach. I always maintain that the turnover is a consequence. What is most gratifying is when a customer says it’s a pleasure to come into our stores because, thanks to the familiar and relaxed atmosphere, they feel at ease. The customer is not treated as a simple buyer but as a person, and we immediately establish a relationship of and complicity. This can be compared to what happens in a starred restaurant: each of its departments must identify themselves with the guest’s desires and make them enjoy an unforgettable experience.
Our first goal is offering our customer a top-level optometric consultancy: our vision exams are executed with specific instruments, considering the peculiarities of each customer, and they are focused to provide high-quality solutions, from ophthalmic lenses to contact lenses. Another important theme for us is the prevention, that is monitoring over time the eyesight of the customers that rely on us.