YONKERS, N.Y.—In a report issued earlier this month, Consumer
Reports magazine announced that Costco Optical topped its list of
eyewear retailers in a ranking of optical chains, independent
practitioners and online eyewear sources by the publication's readers,
based on their experiences.
Compiled from data gathered in its 2009 annual survey—in which
Consumer Reports asked 31,059 readers who wear eyeglasses about their
most recent eyewear purchase—the magazine found that Costco Optical
earned the highest score for overall satisfaction among chains, also
beating out most of its competitors for price and ultimately topping the
ratings of optical retailers, which included large chains, independent
local optical shops and private eyecare practitioners’ offices.
“A new pair of glasses can cost you a pretty penny, especially
when you add on higher-quality lenses, designer logos or fancy
coatings,” said Jamie Hirsh, associate editor for Consumer Reports
Health. “We surveyed our readers to find out not only how much they paid
at the eyeglass retailer, but also their overall experience including
things like frame selection, customer service and employee expertise,”
According to the magazine, a pair of glasses from Costco Optical
cost a median of $157 compared with a median of $211 at independent
optical shops and $212 at eye doctors' offices. Consumer Reports also
said that Costco was the only retailer to stand out for lack of problems
(i.e. loose lenses, distorted or blurred vision or damaged frames in
the first few weeks after purchase).
The Consumer Reports findings also state that 83 percent of
survey participants who had purchased their glasses at an independent
local optical boutique were highly satisfied with the variety; compared
to 69 percent who had purchased from big retailers.
A separate section details which chains or types of independent
shops excel in particular areas and the magazine's report goes on to
advise consumers on eyewear purchasing tips.
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