Walmart and Sam’s Club Debut New Contact Lens Program for 2013

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BENTONVILLE, Ark.—Walmart (NYSE: WMT) and Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., announced yesterday that the retailers are launching an all-new online and phone contact lens program as well as reduced prices on many top contact lenses. The new contact lens program builds on the retailers’ long-standing comprehensive vision offerings, a statement said.

Walmart customers can now visit WalmartContacts.com or call 1-800-741-LENS (5367) and Sam’s Club members can now visit SamsClub.com/contacts or call 1-800-749-LENS (5367) to place contact lens orders and have them delivered directly to their home. Free shipping is available on orders over $50 for Walmart Contacts and $45 for Sam’s Club Contacts.

“At Walmart and Sam’s Club, we are always looking for ways to make it easier and more affordable for our customers to live healthier lives,” said John Agwunobi, M.D., president of Walmart’s Health and Wellness Division. “This new contact lens program, coupled with our in-store Vision Centers and in-club Optical Centers, provides our customers with a true one stop vision solution.”

The program features reduced prices on many contact lens brands, the company said. The statement also noted that, in February, Walmart will also launch its own private Equate brand of contact lenses “to give customers even more contact lens options at low prices.

The new Walmart Contacts’ site is currently powered by Arlington Lens Supply. Arlington is owned by National Vision, Inc., which acquired Columbus, Ohio-based AC Lens in June 2011, as VM previously reported.

Walmart’s statement about its new contact lens program noted that independent optometrists operate private offices next to nearly 3,000 Walmart Vision Centers and Sam’s Club Optical Centers to provide comprehensive eye exams, lens fitting and prescriptions by appointment and on a walk-in basis. In addition, Walmart and Sam’s Club have on-site opticians in the Vision Centers and Optical Centers to assist with fitting glasses in store or in club.

“For the 34 million Americans who are contact lens wearers, they will now find the most competitive prices in the industry at Walmart and Sam’s Club,” said Jill Turner-Mitchael, senior vice president of Health and Wellness at Sam’s Club. “We are always working to ensure that our members and customers get the greatest value and service excellence for all of their health and wellness needs at Sam’s Club and Walmart."

As reported by VMail last week, Walmart Vision Centers/Sam’s Club Optical and 1-800 CONTACTS announced that they had ended their four-year strategic alliance for the sales of contact lenses, effective Dec. 31, 2012.