Marge Axelrad

Marge Axelrad, Sr. VP/Editorial Director

Marge oversees the overall editorial direction of Vision Monday and its print publication, VMail, e-newsletters, VisionMonday.com and special events including VM Global Leadership Summit. She is also in charge of general corporate and company news, industry developments and business trends, financial news. Marge specializes in frame sunwear companies, practice management programs, spectacle lens and contact lens companies, managed care, wholesale laboratories, research. She is also the editor of CLICK, a twice-a-month e-newsletter. Contact Marge at maxelrad@jobson.com.

Stacking Up the Top 50 Optical Retailers

By Marge Axelrad and Mark Tosh
Monday, May 13, 2019 12:30 AM NEW YORK—New attitudes among consumers toward purchasing in general and the rise of digital exploration and purchasing may have upended the general retail marketplace last year with many store closures and reorgs. But as the U.S. economy held its own, the optical industry’s total sales rose just slightly and remained stable.

VM’s Ranking Underscores Expansion Among the 10 Leading Players

By Marge Axelrad and Mark Tosh
Monday, May 13, 2019 12:29 AM NEW YORK—New attitudes among consumers toward purchasing in general and the rise of digital exploration and purchasing may have upended the general retail marketplace last year with many store closures and reorgs. But as the U.S. economy held its own, the optical industry’s total sales rose just slightly and remained stable.

VM’s Top 50 Sales Concentration Grows

By Marge Axelrad and Mark Tosh
Monday, May 13, 2019 12:28 AM NEW YORK—There was a higher concentration of sales among the 2019 VM Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers, which assesses estimates of 12 months of calendar sales for the year ending Dec. 2018. The Top 10 optical retailers collectively comprise 87.5 percent of the Top 50 U.S. optical retail sales. That equated to a collective-estimated $12.6 billion out of the market’s total optical retail sales of $35.7 billion, as reported by VisionWatch/The Vision Council.

Mass Merchants and Wholesale Clubs Feel General Retail Pressures

By Marge Axelrad
Monday, May 13, 2019 12:25 AM NEW YORK—Most notable among the mass merchants involved in optical, there was significant sales growth at Target Optical, which opened only two new stores but saw sales rise by more than 15 percent for the 2018 calendar year. Costco also had a solid growth year, with 12 new stores and a sales increase.

Today’s Important Consideration: It’s Not Big vs. Small, It’s Fast vs. Slow

By Marge Axelrad
Monday, May 13, 2019 12:00 AM Every year that Vision Monday undertakes the task to quantify the largest U.S. optical retailers, the challenges get harder; the numbers get bigger and the reaction to terms like “billions” becomes more pronounced and sharper.

How to Keep Up? Take a Breath, Read, Drink, Sigh ...and Create a Plan that Works for You

By Marge Axelrad
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 2:45 PM Make a pot of good coffee. Or maybe you’d prefer to pour a nice glass of wine for yourself and take a comfortable seat. If we do say so ourselves, all of us at Vision Monday would like you to take the time to read all the particularly information-packed stories, trends and ideas packed into our April edition. Print or digital, or both. not just because we put a lot of effort into writing and building it. But because we want you to process the must-know info housed in two, closely related features.

Megatrend: The Path to Purchase

By Marge Axelrad, Editorial Director
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 2:45 PM NEW YORK—What’s the modern consumer’s purchasing path today? It has become, much more often than not, ‘click,’ ‘click,’ ‘brick,’ then ‘click’ perhaps back to ‘brick’ and…’click’ one more time. This is not a straight line. This is what’s sometimes called “omni-channel.” And, in fact, it is a more circular path that goes forward, backward and sometimes, a little sideways, too—all reflecting the new paths to purchase among most groups of consumers today.

Accessing Basic and Imaginative Ideas for Small Business

By Marge Axelrad
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 12:24 PM NEW YORK—Small businesses can be nimble and change or implement new ideas quickly. But what are some of the basics that owners need to know? What are some modern new approaches that are helping others compete?

Independents Look to Optique Hub for Signage Inspiration

By Marge Axelrad
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 12:21 PM Optique Hub is dedicated to helping customers find the perfect independent eyewear practice, but they serve more than just curious customers. Over on Instagram, @optiquehub has been curating a collection of unique, eye-catching signs outside independent optical shops, something they call their “Optical Signage Series.” A sign outside a shop isn’t the most important thing an independent business does, but it is a central piece of every shop’s first impression. Before online reviews and social media campaigns, storefronts and signage were everything for small businesses, and, although times have changed, they still carry weight today.

Al Berg: A (Very) Fond Appreciation

By Marge Axelrad
Thursday, March 21, 2019 3:43 PM Some people are, simply, a force. They may not always know it, or see themselves that way, but that’s the impact or influence they have on other people. Al Berg, one of the co-founders of Marchon back in 1983 and then its president and CEO for some 25 years, was the visionary eyewear executive who was one of those forces for me. When I came to this business in 1988 as editor of a then-one-year-old business publication here at Jobson, covering a zooming, complicated business and not knowing a soul, Al was someone I gravitated to. He was quick, funny, a New Yorker like me, observant, driven, brave and passionate about business. He also seemed to ‘get’ me. He understood what we were trying to do, writing about a business that was growing in many directions, in leaps and bounds. He was fascinated by that, he was energized by it, sometimes very pro and sometimes con (!) and, man, did he let me know it.

From Across the Pond: Ideas for Display & Design

By Marge Axelrad
Wednesday, March 13, 2019 12:15 PM NEW YORK—Independent retailers are looking more than ever to differentiate themselves from big box and mass market stores. Ideas for merchandising and presenting product, store layout and colors can come from many sources. One unique example we recently came across is Design4Retail a retail design agency based in the U.K. Blending concepts for store design, product display, signage and innovative corners and campaigns, the agency’s website is a fount of ideas. By looking at what their clients’ brands and retailers are doing in categories as wide-ranging as beauty and cosmetics, or apparel and accessories, eyewear retailers and smaller optical dispensaries and boutiques can glean a range of adaptable tips and tactics.

New Momentum and Power for Personalization

By Marge Axelrad
Monday, March 11, 2019 12:30 AM For many people who work within the optical business, customization has always been part of the history of eyewear, as experienced opticians, knowledgeable doctors, and skilled craftsmen, in factories and laboratories, have long done their part to recommend, suggest and fabricate optical frames and spectacle lenses which are best suited to an individual patients’ vision correction needs and their lifestyle.

Yes, You, Too, Can Redefine the Customer Experience

By Marge Axelrad
Monday, February 11, 2019 12:30 AM Few companies have influenced and wowed consumers with intriguing breakthrough concepts for products, a completely new kind of store environment and the introduction of new notions of customer service as have Apple and Tesla. I mention these companies, so closely associated now with “being different,” because these are two of the companies at which George Blankenship, a long-time retail and real estate strategy veteran helped two dynamic and one-of-a-kind leaders like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk hone their visions into such compelling brand realities.