An array of stylish frames from
designers such as Marc Jacob,
Tom Ford and Karen Kane are now
available at Costco Optical Centers.
In case you’re wondering, single-vision
bifocal (including no-line progressive) and
trifocal lenses, polarized sunglasses, computer
lenses, reading glasses and a wide selection of
contact lenses, with recent savings of as much
as 10 to 30 percent, are also offered. Any valid
refraction prescription written by a certified
eye specialist is accepted, and the return policy is the same as for all warehouse purchases,
with 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed.
Frame adjustments are always free.
And Costco’s March Wallet promotion
(March 3 to 30) offers $25 off when you purchase two pairs of prescription eyewear, with
one or both using Transitions lenses.
comfortable darker shade outside.
I’m all for antireflective (AR) treatment.
Costing only $29.99 at Costco, compared to
as much as $85 at some retailers, AR coating
sharpens visual performance and reduces
eye fatigue caused by light and reflections.
Some retailers skimp and apply AR coating
to only one side of a lens, but not Costco.
Made by Costco
Costco personally manufactures all prescription eyewear sold to members. I visited
the company’s San Diego optical plant and
was amazed by the seamlessly choreographed
blend of state-of-the-art robotic technology
and skilled technicians.
All high-gloss edge polishing, insertion
of lenses into the frames, inspection of lenses
and completed eyeglasses, and wrapping for
shipment to the warehouses is done by hand.
Quality-assurance procedures are conducted
at every step. Turnaround time from lens and
frame selection to customized prescription
glasses is about seven to 10 business days.
regarded, private-label Kirkland Signature™
frames, starting at just $39.99, come in a variety of premium materials and represent savings of 30 percent or more over comparable
national brands. A Kirkland Signature proprietary standout is memory metal, made of titanium, copper and aluminum. It is durable,
resilient and represents a 90 percent or higher
savings. Many Kirkland Signature
frames are jaw-droppingly gorgeous
and are the equivalent of an instant,
inexpensive eye lift.
The latest fashion trend is high-end eyewear that matches designer
handbags and shoes. Thanks to Costco
prices, such a fashion statement is possible. For example, the new, dazzling
Karen Kane eyewear collection, available in
May, is inspired by Kane’s spring/summer
2008 geometric and flower-motif apparel
line. Costco prices for these frames start at
just $69.99, with other retailers in the $165 to
$195 range. Costco also carries Polo frames,
with savings of 150 percent at $89.99 versus
$225 at other national retailers, and even
ultra-chic Yves Saint Laurents, priced at
$159.99 versus $255 elsewhere. (Branded
cases are included.)
I recently went shopping for eyewear at
Costco Optical and met up with a few of my
favorite fashion icons: Marc Jacobs, Valentino,
Giorgio Armani, Dior, Roberto Cavalli,
Kenneth Cole, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors,
Tom Ford, Sophia Lauren and more. It was
quite the eyewear party.
Costco senior optical buyer Cary Carlson
watched as I tried on one designer frame after
another. Between my oohs and ahs she noted,
“There’s nothing like a new pair of eyeglasses
to update your appearance and put a little
spring in your step.”
At the value Costco Optical carves out, I’d
say it’s more like a jump for joy. C
And now for the fun part. If you haven’t
shopped Costco Optical’s frame department
in a while, you’re in for a very pleasant surprise. On a recent visit I found a wide selection
of both traditional and very edgy frames in
unisex, men’s, women’s and children’s styles.
Contemporary choices pop with urban
shapes, colors, asymmetrical cutouts, laser
etchings, metal ornaments and bling.
Fabrications run the gamut,
from noncorrosive, hypoal-lergenic titanium to strong
and flexible stainless steel,
bendable memory metal
and my favorite—plastic
laminates decorated in animal prints, crystals and even
bright two-toned colors.
Costco’s own highly
progressive lens $9999 $19800
Transitions $3000 $6400
AR treatment $2999 included
National price comparison taken in December 2007.