It warms our hearts to see each and every one of us do our share to safeguard the health of our family, friends and community. At this very moment, we feel especially grateful to be Canadian!
Although this period of social distancing may allow many of us to take unexpected, albeit isolated, vacations and to devote our time to exciting and whimsical hobbies (this is the perfect time to start assembling the 1000-piece puzzle that you have been putting off for so long! But there is also no harm in lazing for hours in front of your favourite TV series and/or movies, which we definitely qualify just as interesting and whimsical), for a lot of people, it is not an easy time. Over 1100 IRIS employees can tell you all about it, since  activity has slowed down quite a bit in our stores for a few weeks now (we do wish them all many entertaining puzzles meanwhile, and we can’t wait to have them back!)
During this let say, more “rock-and-roll” period, we are reflecting on the story that led a company from Quebec to conquer the country. Just imagine that we are telling it while comfortably sitting in a rocking chair!
Native from Baie-Comeau in Quebec, Dr. Francis Jean, Optometrist, founded the first IRIS store in his hometown in 1990. He already had the humble ambition (a great visionary!) to group Quebec’s eye care professionals under one name. That is why that same year, he founded a buying group allowing optometrists and ophthalmologists to become owners of an IRIS store.
In 2000, IRIS acquires a network of locations in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario, doubling the number of IRIS stores. In Ontario, until 2007, the regulations for eye care were different so IRIS pushed to have the legislation modified in order to allow these eye health professionals to provide better care for their patients by allowing, for example, optometrists, ophthalmologists and opticians to work and offer their services under the same roof.
In 2017, IRIS acquired a store in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The same year, IRIS was acquired by New Look Visual Group. We therefore currently have partners and franchisees in 5 Canadian provinces, and we happen to be the biggest optometrist, ophthalmologist and optician network in the country!
To all of Canada today, we want to say: thank you, and it will get better! And for any ocular emergency, you can count on us.
Discover the story behind a few of stores in these articles: