A different look for downtown glasses shop
Published 7:20 pm, Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Store manager Guy Uhran and the staff of the newly rechristened Morgenthal Frederics luxury optical store at 127 Main St. were making final preparations earlier this week to reopen in the space long known to residents as Spectacles.
After nearly 40 years at the location as Spectacles, the store shut down two weeks ago to remodel before reopening Tuesday as part of a network of the New York-based Morgenthal Frederics, a luxury frame manufacturer and retailer with other stores in Chicago, Aspen, Colorado, Bal Harbour Village, Florida; and Beverly Hills and Palm Beach, California.
The store was repainted tangerine and a light rose, with the former wall displays that held hundreds of frames replaced with Shaker-style walnut cases displaying eyewear, and hardwood floors in place of carpet. New oblong mirrors hung from the walls for customers to consider their options.
“There has always been that huge tradition with Spectacles of having great expertise in optics and service,” Uhran said. “I’ve never come across a company in my career that puts more passion behind those two ideas than Morgenthal Frederics.”
“The mission is to continue to offer outstanding service to clients and bring them not only the latest in high quality eye wear designs but also the latest state-of-the-art options for optical lenses,” Uhran said.
Uhran, a licensed optician who has worked at the store for 28 years, said the store is retaining its staff of six and will continue to fabricate glasses and lens at the store. What Uhran said were the linchpins of Spectacles’ reputation — personalized and knowledgeable salespeople and a high standard of workmanship — would remain in place with a focus on “exceeding expectations,” of long-time customers.
In addition to Morgenthal Frederics’ custom eyewear line, the store will continue to stock other high end frames including Lunor, Ann et Valentin, Matsuda, Sama, Lafont, and Lindberg, Uhran said.
With less product on direct display, sales staff will take a more proactive and in-depth approach in trying to match customers to a particularly suitable set of frames, Uhran said.
“Rather than having the customer look at hundreds of frames on a board and getting confused, we will more personally walk them through the process to find the perfect frame,” Uhran said.
The first Morgenthal Frederics store opened on Madison Avenue in 1986, and after expanding on Manhattan, it gradually opened other locations in well-to-do locales.
While the Spectacles’ name is going away, the newly reopened and rebranded store should remain a draw for residents and shoppers who have come to rely on the business for high quality glasses, said Tucker Murphy, executive director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce.
“They are just sort of refurbishing and rebranding but are committed to be here,” Murphy said. “They should serve the needs around here even better.”