Top 50 Retailers Approach $8 Billion in Sales for 2011

By John Sailer: Senior Editor


NEW YORK—During a sluggish economic recovery, the country’s 50 largest eyewear/eyecare retailers and optometric practices achieved another new high in combined optical sales in 2011. That’s no surprise, as this sales record followed a previous record achieved during a year of economic challenges and uncertainty in 2010. As an aggregate, these high-volume optical retailers generated estimated sales of $7,939.1 million in calendar year 2011, according to VM’s exclusive Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers annual ranking.

The upward trajectory of optical sales endures, and with many of the top 50 U.S. optical retailers adding locations and reporting healthy increases in sales, that trend continues. Their solid sales performance brought these leading retailers’ combined share of the overall U.S. vision care business to 27.9 percent of last year’s $28,430 million total U.S. market for vision care products and services sold at optical retail locations, as estimated by The Vision Council’s VisionWatch ongoing consumer survey.

These eyewear/eyecare players operated an estimated 10,287 retail locations as of Dec. 31, 2011, with many of the players on the VM Top 50 list adding new units. Due to growth and consolidation, two new retailers entered the Top 50 for the first time and one other player made its first appearance in the Top 10.
—With reporting from Contributing Editor Cathy Ciccolella