Groovy Glasses Ltd has been in existence since 1999 founded by Trudy & Dirk McBeath.
Right from the beginning Groovy Glasses chose to differentiate ourselves from other Optometry practices. They did this by stocking spectacle frames that were more creative, colourful and “out there”. This was in response to hearing from many people over the years that there wasn’t much variety in eyewear choice. Most of the frames are sourced from Europe and have that “je ne sais quoi” everyone craves!
Location, location, location
The interior of Groovy Glasses is designed with an Art Deco theme and 1960’s antiques. Mainly because we are retro-style enthusiasts ourselves. Plus, we wanted to create an atmosphere that was less clinical and more homely. We have had a bit of a varied history when it comes to location. For a long time we were located in a beautiful brick heritage building in Manchester Street. When the 2010 earthquake came along and cracked the building right down the front, we shifted to Dundas Street temporarily. In October 2010 we re-opened in High Street. This was a beautiful heritage building that had been undamaged by the September quake.
In February 2011 another huge earthquake broke the High street premises! We were closed for 6 months while we searched for more premises. (It took a lot longer that time because so many buildings had been destroyed.)
We finally found a simple industrial building in Bath Street, still within the central city, and set up business again. However these premises were only ever going to be temporary. There was a demolition clause the lease agreement unfortunately. Beggars couldn’t be choosers! So with very few buildings being available and undamaged at that time, we took a punt and hoped the landlord wouldn’t demolish the building for a few years.
We were very lucky to last 5 years in this situation before finally finding a permanent home in a beautiful heritage building in New Regent Street. The whole street had been strengthened to 67% of New Building Standard post-earthquakes, so we felt privileged to find something that was both picturesque and safe.
In 2022, OCULA purchased Groovy Glasses. We are proud to be part of the OCULA group, owned and operated by Danielle and John Winstone.
Groovy Glasses Philosophy
The Groovy Glasses view of life.
Groovy Glasses came on the scene as a result of 3 desires:
- To change the purchase of glasses and process of having your eyes examined from being a negative experience into being a positive, creative, experience – in other words to make it fun.
- To restore a historic building to its former glory and put it to good commercial use. We decided to go against the trend of making professional offices look as modern as possible, and instead to go back in time to an olde worlde (Art Deco) atmosphere, choosing something from the past which epitomised great style
- To make a workplace as much like a home as possible, for both the workers and the clients. We were aware that many people get nervous at the idea of a visit to professional rooms. We decided therefore to create a welcoming atmosphere using such things as jazz music, complimentary sweets, original artworks and fresh flowers each week. The bottom line being that if a third of your life is spent at work, why not turn it into a place that makes you feel good about being there?
Groovy Glasses Awards
Top Shop Christchurch – 2010-2011
Once again our business has been acknowledged officially as providing an excellent service, product range and ambience. The irony of this award was that it was announced during the period when we had no business – it had been destroyed by the earthquake of September 2010.
Trudy, the Head Honcho at Groovy, remembers walking passed the rubble of the old Manchester St premises each day on her way to the new temporary premises and thinking,”Great!- A TopShop Award for when you don’t have a shop…”
Fortunately a business is more than just a building and after two further earthquakes and two further shifts, the heart of Groovy Glasses is still beating strongly, proving that skills, experience, flair and determination are definitely transferable!
“The sign of an exceptional level of customer service would surely be when the service you offer exceeds the norm in a less than ideal situation.
Groovy Glasses lost their beloved store in the Christchurch earthquake but managed to deliver service that ensured they stood out as the iconic retailer we all know. The passion has not crumbled for their craft, even though their shop may have.”
Groovy Glasses in Avenues – October 2011
“Avenues” magazine, a glossy Christchurch mag that specialises in local news, personalities and happenings, published an article in their Fashion issue (October 2011) about the survival of Groovy Glasses Ltd through two massive earthquakes and two forced re-locations.
The subsequent positive feedback from fellow Cantabrians was extremely heartening. A real shot in the arm for staff who were only just up and running again after almost six months of closure and lost business. Thank you, Avenues, for your great recognition and support!
Top Shop Christchurch – Outstanding Customer Service
Groovy Glasses is once again a winner, scooping the Outstanding Customer Service Award for 2007 in the Christchurch TopShop Awards. This will make it 3 times in a row that Groovy Glasses has been judged outstanding by professional mystery shoppers! This is taken from the New Zealand Retailer’s Association in a city that boasts 400,000 shoppers. An indication of the pleasant experience you will enjoy if you ever decide to come in for a visit!
Top Shop Christchurch – Overall Winner
Groovy Glasses Ltd was selected as the Top Shop in Christchurch by the New Zealand Retailer’s Association in October 2005. This meant going through weeks of a robust review system consisting of mystery shopping, customer feedback, more mystery shopping. Imagine that, the best shop in the whole of Christchurch, as judged by the professionals!
“Groovy Glasses makes shopping for eyewear an out of sight experience. The retro style fit out, fabulous and funky product range, refreshing and infectious enthusiasm by staff committed to finding the view right for you, creates a fantastic and focussed experience.”