Designer eye-wear company moving into shops at Briargate

Europtics, a high-end eye-wear retailer based in Denver, is expanding into Colorado Springs.

The company will take the place of Ultra Diamonds at 1685 Briargate Parkway in the Promenade Shops at Briargate.

“This will be a good fit,” said Briargate shops manager Jennifer Crowley.

This will be the company’s fifth store in the state. It owns and operates four others in the Denver area.

CEO Ira Haber said the company has been looking at moving into Colorado Springs for more than a year.

“Honestly, we think there’s a good market opportunity there for us,” Haber said. “We have a lot of people from Colorado Springs who come up to our store at Park Meadows.”

He said enough people visit to justify the expansion.

Commercial real estate brokers told Haber the shops at Briargate were probably his best location. He said he didn’t want to move downtown because there is already a high-end eye-wear retailer there and he didn’t want to compete.

In the northern part of the city, he said he knew of some companies that had shifted their focus away from designer-brand sunglasses and eyeglasses.

Haber said Europtics ranks 46 among top eye-wear retailers in the country by dollar volume.

“And we only have four stores,” he said. “If we had 1,000 stores, we’d really be the king of the hill.”

Crowley said Ultra, a discount jeweler who has been a tenant at the lifestyle center since it opened, was not renewing its lease.

Europtics should be beginning construction early next month and Crowley said she expects the store to open in October or early November.

Haber said there is a team heading to Colorado Springs today to conduct interviews for new employees and the company expects to hire five full-time staff and a part-time doctor to start.