Latest News An Inside Guide to VM’s D.A.R.E. Awards and ‘Best of’ Optical Shops on VisionMonday.com By Staff Wednesday, May 22, 2013 12:15 AM NEW YORK—Do you know an eyewear retailer who’s grabbing the social media reins and capturing customers with such ease it makes you want to ditch your Rolodex for a Facebook page? Or maybe you’ve been awed by a selection of eco-based frames perfectly lit by a retailer’s efficient use of LED lighting? If you can answer yes to these questions and more, then run, don’t walk, to www.visionmonday.com/dare and nominate an eyewear retailer who really stands apart (Or nominate yourself—we dare you). Now in its third year, the Vision Monday D.A.R.E. Awards, being sponsored by Europa International, include six different categories of optical excellence. Here, we’ve rounded up award descriptions, expert tips and examples of past honorees for four of this year’s D.A.R.E. Awards as highlighted in Vision Monday’s print editions. On another retailer front, with consumers constantly in ‘share’ mode, small businesses can often feel they are at the mercy of ratings and reviews. However, some optical retailers have benefitted from this state of transparency by turning community polls and readers’ choice surveys into opportunities for outreach and growth. VM spoke to independents across the U.S. who have been voted by their communities as the “best” optical shops in their regions—a status which, when leveraged properly, can increase sales and customer base. Open your eyes to five ECPs who have seen a boost in businesses as a result of their “Best of” titles in Loved the Most From Coast to Coast: Statuses Rise With Contest Wins.