An Australian eyewear retailer which opened in Ponsonby before Christmas plans to open up to four more stores in New Zealand.

Bailey Nelson, which started in Bondi Beach, is undercutting competitors by selling low-priced glasses from as little as $395 for progressives and from $125 for single-vision glasses.

The chain has opened in Christchurch and Wellington and has leased premises at 160 Ponsonby Rd. J C Hinsley, New Zealand country manager for the eyewear chain, said expansion was planned.

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"We're planning on opening two to four more stores in New Zealand. We're looking on the North Shore, Dunedin, Queenstown and potentially a second in [the] Wellington area or moving into smaller cities as well," Hinsley said.

Some progressive glasses in New Zealand cost more than $1000 a pair, he said, so the price charged by the chain was exceptionally low here.

"Our progressives are considerably more affordable compared to stories I have heard of people paying $1200 or more for one complete pair of progressives, and we offer our customers their second pair of glasses half off when they purchase a pair of progressives," he said.

"We don't like to compare ourselves based solely on price.

"Quality is a much larger indicator of what is worth paying for. Our prescription glasses start at $125 including the frame, hand-crafted from Italian acetate, and the single vision -- distance or reading -- lenses with the anti-reflective and scratch resistance coatings."

We travel the globe in search of the world's finest materials and manufacturers. This has taken us to Italy for acetates and sun lenses -- they're all polarised -- and Germany and France for hinges.

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The business has taken a five-year lease on the building owned by Mansons TCLM and where associated business NZ Mortgages & Securities has its offices on level one.

Hinsley said the chain had more than 20 stores in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, London, Canada and in New Zealand but their materials were sourced internationally.

"We travel the globe in search of the world's finest materials and manufacturers. This has taken us to Italy for acetates and sun lenses -- they're all polarised -- and Germany and France for hinges," he said.

Eye examinations would cost $100, he said, but that would include pressure tests and an optical coherence tomography scan to capture an image at the retina, with a 3D image of the layers within to achieve a more comprehensive health check.