Mark Tosh, Senior Editor

Mark 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. Mark is a contributor to dba, a twice monthly e-newsletter profiling successful local and regional retail/optometric businesses while addressing their decision-making needs. Contact Mark at mtosh@jobson.com.

Dim the Lights, Grab the Popcorn and Prepare for a Possible Blockbuster Summer Movie Season

By Mark Tosh
Friday, May 24, 2019 1:34 PM For many of us, Memorial Day weekend is the curtain raiser for the summer movie season. And this summer’s lineup of new releases looks to be one of the best in some time. Big stars, big budgets and big expectations are all phrases that come to mind when appraising the coming attractions. We have Brad Pitt, Rocketman (Elton John, of course) and Quentin Tarantino, to name just a few of the boldface names the studios are sending our way this summer. Oh, and while “eyewear” may not appear to have a starring role in the upcoming summer releases, there will certainly be plenty of screen time and cameo appearances for cool-looking shades and spectacles.

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.

Billie Jean King: A Champion of Vision Care on and off the Court

By Mark Tosh
Monday, May 13, 2019 12:00 AM She’s a winner and an authentic all-around champion. Is there a better way to describe Billie Jean King? Well, add vision care advocate to the long list of King’s achievements over a long and legendary career, both on and off the tennis court.

Vision Associates Set to Boost Dispensary Management Presence Among Indie ODs

By Mark Tosh
Monday, May 13, 2019 12:00 AM WARREN, N.J.—The optical retailing landscape, especially for the independent ECP, is being buffeted by waves of change, as consolidation, new technology and an evolving patient mindset bring new challenges almost on a daily basis. In an effort to offset these challenges and support both the independent optometrist and ophthalmologist in today’s rough-and-tumble business environment, two optical dispensary management firms—Vision Associates and Partners in Vision—have come together as a division of Essilor of America to create a stronger entity in optical management.

Understanding New Models and Players in the Retail-Health Care Convergence

By Mark Tosh, Senior Editor
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 2:58 PM New ideas and models of “retail health” are emerging on a regular basis today, driven in part by an empowered and savvier consumer and the convergence of health care business segments, Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, a health economist, trend analyst, consultant and influential blogger, told attendees at the annual VM Summit last month. Sarasohn-Kahn offered her take on the convergence of retail and health care, and she identified new players and business models that are likely to have a significant impact on this marketplace evolution and the powerful forces that are reshaping patients into health consumers.

Navigating the Emerging Data-Scape

By Mark Tosh, Senior Editor
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 2:55 PM Today, we’re all citizens of the Digital Nation. It’s a vast expanse, a limitless data-scape, where data is both the currency and the lingua franca. That was a key premise of the VM Summit talk by Andrew Karp, VM’s group editor for lenses and technology.

Turning Data Wealth Into Patient Health

By Sara Bonizio, Contributing Editor and Mark Tosh, Senior Editor
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 2:52 PM In the final Summit session, “Turning Data Wealth into Patient Health,” Amy Heymans (Cueva), founder and chief experience officer of Mad*Pow, spoke about the unique methods her company uses when working with health care clients, noting that “changing real-world behaviors” is central to addressing the key challenges facing both society and business. Mad*Pow’s methods draw upon design concepts and motivational psychology to help patients achieve greater health and wellness, financial wellbeing, education and sustainability.

Seeing Is Believing (Or How New Contact Lenses Helped Patrick Reed Win The Masters)

By Mark Tosh
Friday, April 5, 2019 2:52 PM A year ago, 27-year-old Patrick Reed was relatively unknown outside the world of professional golf. But after a drama-filled Sunday—and hearty challenges from some of the biggest names in golf—Reed rolled in a 3-foot putt for par on the 18th hole at Augusta National to win The Masters by one stroke. He picked up his first major championship that Sunday in April a year ago, and all of the notoriety that comes with winning the most prestigious event in golf (if not all of individual sports).

Rethinking the Classical Approach to Marketing

By Mark Tosh
Monday, March 11, 2019 12:30 AM Suffice it to say I am not a real marketer. I read a lot about marketing theories and can debate either side of the art-or-science question, but I skipped the classical training part and didn’t become familiar with the 4Ps (product, price, place and promotion) until midway in my professional life. As old-school marketers know, the marketing-mix framework and most marketing management decisions were shaped by the 4Ps for decades.

Billie Jean King: A Champion of Vision Care on and off the Court

By Mark Tosh
Friday, March 1, 2019 4:43 PM She’s a winner and an authentic all-around champion. Is there a better way to describe Billie Jean King? Well, add vision care advocate to the long list of King’s achievements over a long and legendary career, both on and off the tennis court. King is recognized for her 39 Grand Slam titles (16 in doubles), including a record 20 titles at Wimbledon, and she undoubtedly is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. But she is perhaps best known for the match in 1973 when 90 million people worldwide watched King soundly defeat Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes,” 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. Many believe that no other sporting event has played a more significant role in raising recognition for women athletes.

Remembering the Wisdom of Martin Luther King Jr.

By Mark Tosh
Friday, January 18, 2019 2:34 PM Today marks the start of the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. For many of us, this simply means we have an extra day to work on things around the house, to spend additional quality time with family or even to start those new projects that keep getting pushed off. But there’s also time this weekend to reflect on the accomplishments of the great Dr. King and the way he managed to take a measured and well-thought out approach to achieving his goals.