Hawkers is excited to announce several new initiatives that will see the company branch out into the optics industry. It will also be franchising its brick-and-mortar locations and increasing its international exposure.
These ambitious plans have led to a change in leadership, naming Pedro Beneyto as the new CEO. While Hawkers is mainly known for designer sunglasses, the brand is now ready to tackle an ancillary sector — the prescription market.
Beneyto comes from the eyewear chain Alain Afflelou, where he built up a significant roster of contacts in the optical industry. This extensive network is instrumental to the new goals of Hawkers. Not only is it ramping up marketing outside of Spain, but it’s also launching a franchise system. This is an opportunity for Hawkers to improve the accessibility of its products and grow relationships with enthusiastic entrepreneurs ready to be a part of the company’s tremendous success.
As Beneyto put it, “Hawkers is a very powerful brand that, until now, has focused its activity on selling sunglasses. One of our objectives is to expand our eyewear offering to prescription eyeglasses, a sector with which I am very familiar, either through franchises or through our own network of opticians.” Beneyto understands the ins and outs of eyewear. Whether the question is about fashion or eye health, he either knows the answer or knows who to ask to get it.
After working for the Suarez Group in the jewelry industry, he learned how to curate and market products that are both stylish and practical. With Beneyto leading the way, customers will have plenty of quality options from which to choose. If they want to buy a pair of eyeglasses, sunglasses, or even contact lenses that will pair perfectly with their many outfits and moods, the Hawkers’ team wants their brands to be front and center. As the president of Hawkers, Leopoldo Alejandro Betancourt Lopez is excited to see the company take another big step forward. He’s the leader who helped the company turn itself around when it was hitting obstacle after obstacle, and he supports the new direction of the company.
Stretching Out: Marketing, Franchises, and Networks That Span Cultures
While Hawkers might have started in Spain, its team found it relatively easy to gain traction beyond the borders. Hawkers’ styles translated well on social media, and much of its success has come from establishing a substantial online presence. Of its many online sales, more than 50% have come from outside the country. Beneyto is excited to lean in to technology as a way to improve relationships with customers worldwide.
Technology has been a Hawkers mainstay since its inception. In fact, the original four founders were interested in developing a Craigslist-style site in Spain before they switched to fashion. It was only when they had success selling a few pairs of sunglasses that they decided to pivot. Having a technology background was a huge boon because their customer base was young and primarily plugged in. Once they started posting themselves having fun in their Hawkers eyewear, it didn’t take long before the company saw demand rise in Spain and elsewhere.
Since 2013, Hawkers has been a pioneer of online marketing. The company’s website has processed orders from 80 countries. In addition, there are 70 physical stores in Portugal, Italy, and Spain. The brand has also secured 15 opticians in Spain and Portugal for its newest Hawkers Eyewear division. Among Spanish fashion brands, Hawkers is one of the most recognizable. To date, the brand has sold more than 4.5 million pairs worldwide.)
Pedro Beneyto has been a part of Hawkers since the spring of 2022, and he’s driving much of the investment in the foreign market. With a variety of brands under the Hawkers’ umbrella, including Northweek, Battleboro, Loopas, Wolfnoir, and Miss Hamptons, there will be a number of ways to structure each new product and its respective market position. From contact lenses to glasses, Hawkers is on track to become an indispensable name in eyewear.
Leopoldo Alejandro Betancourt Lopez’s Role
When Hawkers got its start, it outsourced production. While the demand for its products was high, the bottom line was not. There were several reasons for the company’s inability to manage its money effectively, but part of the problem was the supply chain. Leopoldo Alejandro Betancourt Lopez was brought in because he had extensive experience managing and scaling various businesses.
As a hands-on investor, he encouraged and organized production so it was under leadership’s purview. Now, the company is promoting eco-friendly products that are made in Spain by designers who are as passionate as they are talented. They’re committed to creating a product that will translate across languages and borders. From the moment Betancourt Lopez got involved with Hawkers, he immediately identified the brand’s strengths and weaknesses.
He saw that the company was spending too much money, so he looked for creative solutions to reduce expenses. While influencer marketing is nothing new today, it was still relatively untested when he came aboard. He decided to use its burgeoning popularity to the company’s advantage, which is why sales shot up without the burden of expensive ad fees. Leopoldo Alejandro Betancourt Lopez saw that hip, young people were happy to post themselves in cool sunglasses in exchange for free products or other incentives. These were shades they were already wearing anyway, making them the perfect ambassador for a company that could use the extra exposure.
Now, as the company moves forward with Pedro Beneyto as CEO, the president of Hawkers will continue to step in wherever he can. Beneyto may have experience in the optics sector, but Betancourt Lopez has an exceptionally well-rounded acumen that can help the company make strategic moves. Betancourt Lopez is there to monitor the company’s progress, advise the team when needed, and step in to help fix any problems that spring up. He’s excited to move forward as Hawkers scales up its production capabilities to meet the needs of its many customers.
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