VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 18, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Coastal Contacts Inc. (TSX:COA) (Stockholm:COA.ST) ("Coastal.com" or "Coastal"), one of the largest online retailers of eyeglasses and contact lenses, has been awarded a gold medal in the 2nd Annual Hub Prize Competition, honoring excellence in the retail experience. The Hub Magazine is an industry leading marketing journal recognized for identifying and analyzing innovative marketing strategies and trends. With a panel of 30 diverse judges ranging from academics to veterans of major retail brands, The Hub Prize Competition awarded Coastal.com a gold medal for its First Pair Free eyeglasses promotion. "We believe that receiving this award is a strong endorsement of Coastal's ability to develop and execute a disruptive marketing strategy in the large and fragmented eyeglasses category," commented Roger Hardy, Coastal.com's founder and CEO. "Other nominees were companies like McDonald's, Safeway, Duane Reade, Pepsi/7-Eleven, Staples and Whole Foods, many of whom are represented by large advertising agencies. Our First Pair Free program was developed in-house and implemented by our world class marketing team." With Coastal.com's customer-driven focus, the company was recognized specifically for establishing a no-risk business model through its First Pair Free campaign – a program that The Hub Magazine dubbed as "a bold move with very impressive results." Coastal.com believes customers will be delighted with their entire experience, especially given the first pair of prescription glasses purchased are free. To further convince consumers to make their eyewear purchases on the web, Coastal.com promises to also include virtual try on, free return shipping, and a 366 day return policy – because 365 days just isn't enough. Aaron Magness, Coastal.com's VP of Marketing, commented: "We believe that as a result of the First Pair Free program, we have seen an uptick in new customer acquisition around the globe. Even more exciting is the fact that over 70% of new customers surveyed said they would be purchasing again from Coastal within the next six months."