Japan Buyout

Background of transaction

Business revitalization project without delisting, providing capital and management support.

  • With emergence of three price shops offering cheaper products, simple pricing framework and mass advertisement, operation became disorganized partly due to the weakening internal leadership of the management.
  • After recording losses for several years, the company’s liabilities became in excess of assets and bankruptcy filing was within sight.
  • A sponsor that can discover values in the company’s intangible assets accumulated over forty years and provide support both in terms of capital and management was needed.

Background of investment

Solid and stable demand.

Visionary Holdings had been focusing on the eye wear market for the senior consumers, which had demonstrated stable sales volume and unit price per customer. In particular, presbyopia market was steadily growing, and higher unit price and more frequent purchases were confirmed.

Higher profitability of the eye health product category.

Since the eye health products can be defined as part of the broaden health care products, these was an opportunity to make a premium pricing compared to the cost, which enabled the business model with sufficient gross margin.

Significant customer asset.

Customer database had aggregated data for more than 10 million customers. The brand still maintained wide recognition based on the nationwide shop network and skilled staffs with high level of expertise.

Market without dominant players provided opportunity to capture leading position.

Market environment allowed for establishing of competitive advantage through segment-focus strategies. Sufficient prospect to become one of the leading players in the market with many existing competitors operate in a all-rounder style without clear differentiation points.

Dimensions of management support

From eyeglass shop to eye care company.

The key concept of the turnaround strategy was to transform the company into an eye care company that can help resolve all eye-related problems from a retailer of eyeglasses and contact lenses. Enhanced testing capabilities, paid tests, separate sale of lens and frame to improve the gross margin, relaxation services and sale of supplements, and mutual customer/patient introductions through tie-up with superior ophthalmologists – those multi-dimensional measures as an eye care company were deployed.

Leveraged leaders’ insights in the front-line operations to quickly transform the business model.

CEO well versed in retail services was recruited from outside to accelerate transformation.
He organized a special team of dozens of staff and he himself became the captain of the team and visited the stores through the nation to demonstrate how to change and improve the store operations. He also set up a large-scale management meeting inviting two hundred headquarter staff and selected regional managers supervising core stores.
The processes and practices of planning and execution of strategic actions, internal communication, and performance monitoring were reformed on a zero-basis and meeting decision making helped the company solve various issues quickly and adapt to the new business model of eye care company.

Increased brand recognition as an eye care company.

Marketing utilizing information of several million customers in the database played an important role. Targeted direct mailing fostered repeat customers and comprehensive marketing approach from TV commercials to distributing flyers to households drove new customer acquisition. CI logo and visuals were also redesigned, to enhance the brand communication as an “eye care company”.