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Jim Papas (L) and Andrew Kotsos
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By Helen Carter

Eyeclarity has won a prestigious national retail award for its innovations that customise eyewear, including a world first idea that features lenses as the practice focus.

The practice partners of eyeclarity, optometrists Jim Papas, Michael Kapitan, Andrew Kotsos and George Prassinos, received the Pronto Software Australian Retail Innovator of the Year award at the 2015 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards.

The event at The Grand Hyatt on 2 July was attended by more than 400 retailers, media and industry figures.

Eyeclarity is an optometry partnership that enables it to pool resources and compete successfully in the market. Mr Papas established the business in Melton in 1986 before expanding it to practices in Sunbury, Bacchus Marsh and last year, the Emporium Melbourne.

He said the award recognised the ‘myeyes’ software selection assistant kiosks located in each eyeclarity practice, which educate patients about their eyewear choices and provide a unique way of customising eyewear.

‘This is combined with the innovative eyeclarity-developed LensLab, which comprises interactive displays of lenses,’ he said. ‘LensLab is a global first, where lenses are made a central focus within an optical store.’

Eyeclarity partnered with Nikon to use its demonstration tools and supply Nikon lenses to patients.

‘These innovations place patients at the centre of the decision-making process,’ he said. ‘This leads to patients electing to have more added value products, resulting in higher sales than would usually occur in an optical practice.

‘This is terrific recognition of the hard work by a great team at eyeclarity and our optometry partners working together to create a unique world-class optometry health-care practice.

‘We may not have large resources or marketing budgets but we do have great ideas, fantastic people and the support of our suppliers,’ Mr Papas said.

Andrew Kotsos also works part-time as a professional development officer for Optometry Australia.

He opened eyeclarity Emporium Melbourne with Mr Papas last year and said it was a huge honour to receive the national award after being in business for just over a year.

‘We have a great practice team that helps us achieve our goal of fusing health-care, technology and fashion in a highly competitive market,’ Mr Kotsos said.

He said eyeclarity Emporium Melbourne offered personalised styling appointments with in-store stylists.

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