John Sailer

John Sailer, Senior Editor

John covers news and feature coverage of national and regional optical retailers, managed vision care organizations, software systems and technology. He works closely with other members of the VM editorial staff to monitor developments in online optical retailing and other industry issues. John is the editor for dba, a monthly e-newsletter profiling successful local and regional retail/optometric businesses while addressing their decision-making needs. He is also a Co-Editor, for High Visibility, with Deirdre Carroll, on Contact John at


By Marge Axelrad and John Sailer
Monday, August 31, 2015 12:10 AM Call it ‘Opti-mism.’ The pace of new investment and acquisitions in the retail and optometric side of the U.S. optical business has been intensifying. In 2015, that pace picked up dramatically—and more deals are reportedly on tap for the remainder of this year and into the next—promising to essentially reshape the business in new ways, to realign and restructure the national regional, local optical retail landscape and the presence of vision care in the health care space as well.


By John Sailer
Monday, August 31, 2015 12:09 AM Starting with this issue, VM begins a Special Series exploring the recent influx of private equity capital into the optical business and the multimillion dollar deals (and in one case, billion dollar deal) being made in the sector. With access to record amounts of available money and health care reform encouraging consolidation, this “perfect storm” shows no signs of stopping as mergers and acquisitions continue their pace.

Who's Who and What's What in Investing

By John Sailer
Monday, August 31, 2015 12:08 AM Accredited Investor: Investors who are financially sophisticated with a reduced need for protection, as defined by Regulation D of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), these investors can include individuals, banks, insurance companies, employee benefit plans and trusts. Accredited investors must earn $200,000 individually or $300,000 jointly during each of the last two years and expect that to continue; have an individual or net worth of $1 million; and be a general partner, executive officer, director or a related combination.

A Unique Player: Why American Optical Services Lost Its Bet on Optical

By John Sailer
Monday, August 31, 2015 12:06 AM LAS VEGAS—Based in the gambling capital of the U.S., American Optical Services (AOS) lost its bet on consolidation . . . and brought a number of successful optical businesses down with it. Judging from the many successes private equity firms have experienced in the sector, this failure was not due to the market itself, which remains robust, but resulted from poor planning, mismanagement and other factors, according to many of the investors and retailers spoken to by VM.


By John Sailer
Monday, August 31, 2015 12:00 AM “Whether we help grandma read to her grandchildren or help a child of five read for the first time, that’s what it’s all about.” Lauren Branch, 2015 Apollo Award winner.

Bard Optical’s Owner Navigates Decades of Change Approaching 75th Anniversary

By John Sailer
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 12:15 PM PEORIA, Ill.—As Bard Optical approaches its 75th year in business next year, the regional optical group with 20 locations throughout Illinois has had decades to learn what works and what doesn’t when running a multiple-location practice.

Health Care Purchasing Study Enables Providers to Help Patients With Elective Care

By John Sailer
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 12:10 PM

COSTA MESA, Calif.—When making elective health care decisions, consumers simultaneously research both the procedure and how they will pay for it, according to a recently released study conducted by Rothstein Tauber, Inc., on behalf of CareCredit, a leading health care financing company and division of Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF).

Retail Sales of Polycarbonate Lenses Increased Most Over One Year, Survey Says

By John Sailer
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 12:05 PM

NEW YORK—Polycarbonate, super high index, Trivex and high index lens materials increased the most in sales when comparing total lens sales in 2014 with total lens sales in 2013, according to Jobson Research’s most recent MarketPulse survey on Premium Lenses.

Left to Their Own Devices

By John Sailer
Monday, August 17, 2015 12:00 AM It says I can go blind from this!” That’s what one cataract patient concluded after reading all of the information made available to them, as recounted by one of the optometrists in this issue’s cover story about technologies that enable ECPs to automate their patients’ education.

Morgenthal Frederics Opens in Washington, D.C., with Twelfth High-End Optical Shop

By John Sailer
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 1:06 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C.—With the opening of a new location at the upscale retail hub known as CityCenterDC, Luxury Optical Holdings (LOH) added its 12th Morgenthal Frederics high-end optical shop to its 61-store portfolio of luxury brands.

Jins Tracks Retail Data in Real Time with Microsoft Point-of-Sale System

By John Sailer
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 1:03 PM

SAN FRANCISCO—While Jins Eyewear’s in-house robotic edger took center stage when the Japanese optical retailer opened its first U.S. store here on April 10, 2015, state-of-the-art technology also plays a starring role behind the scenes to improve the retail experience.

Opti-Port ‘Managing Managed Care Workshop’ Keeps Multi-Office Members Ahead of the Curve

By John Sailer
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 1:00 PM

CHICAGO—In an effort to help its members navigate the impact of managed vision care, the Opti-Port national alliance of multi-office eyecare providers held its fourth annual managed care conference here, July 30 to 31, 2015. The 2015 Managing Managed Care Workshop boasted a record number of attendees.

AOA’s Outgoing and Incoming Presidents Discuss Accomplishments and Initiatives

By John Sailer
Friday, July 31, 2015 1:57 PM

SEATTLE—Vision Monday sat down with the American Optometric Association’s outgoing president, David Cockrell, OD, and incoming president, Steven Loomis, OD, during Optometry’s Meeting held here recently to discuss what’s been accomplished over the past year and what new initiatives the organization has planned.

Pager Enables Virginia Eye Institute to Capture Extra $7K Daily

By John Sailer
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 10:06 AM

RICHMOND, Va.—To increase revenue from existing patients, ophthalmology practices have been gradually yet steadily incorporating optical dispensaries over the years. Virginia Eye Institute is no exception. This three-O practice’s most recent success at improving its capture rate comes from implementing a paging system that helps optometrists hand off patients to opticians.