VM’s view of the largest optical chains’ sales performances in 2010

By Cathy Ciccolella: Senior Contributing Editor


NEW YORK—Despite continuing economic challenges, the country’s 50 largest eyewear/eyecare retailers and optometric practices achieved a new high in combined optical sales last year. As a group, these high-volume retail players generated aggregate revenues estimated at a record $7,408.6 million in calendar 2010, according to VM’s exclusive Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers annual listing.

Their robust sales performance during 2010—in the face of the recession’s lingering impact and consumers’ ongoing concern about discretionary spending—took these key retailers’ combined share of the overall U.S. vision care business to 26.5 percent of last year’s $27,936 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 9,910 retail locations as of Dec. 31, 2010, with most of the largest players on the VM Top 50 list adding a least a few new units and some showing significant store expansion.

The Top 10 retailers on this year’s VM Top 50 list achieved an estimated combined volume of $6,435.3 million, representing 23 percent of the overall U.S. vision care business and 86.9 percent of the Top 50 retailers’ overall sales.