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.

Change Is Hard

By Mark Tosh
Monday, July 15, 2019 12:00 AM Bouncing around the trade show/conference circuit, we’ve found it’s hard to avoid running into a discussion or two about the imminent “changes” on the horizon that will shake up the entire industry, whether it’s the retail sector, health care or even the media business. There probably isn’t an industry segment out there that doesn’t have its share of advisers and consultants who address the topic of change on a regular basis at industry get-togethers. In the past, we’ve tended to take these talks with a grain of salt (and sometimes a shot of tequila).

CooperVision Outlines Sustainability Efforts during Tour of Costa Rican Facility

By Mark Tosh
Monday, July 15, 2019 12:00 AM SAN JOSE, Costa Rica—CooperVision is working diligently to increase its efforts around environmental initiatives focused in a few key areas – including saving water, conserving energy, and reducing, reusing and recycling resources – and took steps toward demonstrating this commitment during a recent program for ECPs here in Costa Rica. The company hosted an event for about 20 eyecare professionals and others at its 100,000-square-foot contact lens manufacturing facility in Alajuela, Costa Rica, last month.

With Women’s Soccer in the Spotlight, It’s a Good Time to Consider Eye Safety in All Sports

By Mark Tosh
Friday, July 5, 2019 1:08 PM NEW YORK—With a second straight World Cup soccer championship in plain sight, the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) will be the center of attention for many tomorrow as they take on The Netherlands in the 2019 World Cup final. The game is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. (EDT). The U.S. advanced to the final with a 2-1 victory over England on Tuesday, while the Dutch defeated Sweden, 1-0, in extra time the following day. The Netherlands, seen as a team on the rise and playing well in this World Cup, are playing in the women’s final for the first time in the team’s history.

Here’s How a Few Optical Industry Colleagues Are Spending Their Summer Vacation

By Mark Tosh
Friday, June 21, 2019 1:46 PM As of about midday on June 21, we officially began the summer season of 2019. So, basically, what this means is that if you haven’t already scheduled an amazing summer adventure, then you’ve missed out on the best beach rentals, the hot summer shows and much of the off-peak visiting times for just about every national park.

CEO Rothrock: Making Investments for Superior Vision and Davis Stakeholders

By Mark Tosh
Monday, June 10, 2019 1:00 AM BALTIMORE—It’s been a busy first year for the managed vision care company Versant Health. Created by the merger of Davis Vision and Superior Vision in late 2017, Versant Health debuted as the corporate name for the “new” company in May 2018 and, after hitting the ground quickly, the company has continued to work at a steady pace to invest and reshape itself as an adept competitor in the managed vision care space over the past 12 months.

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. And while “eyewear” may not appear to have a starring role in the upcoming summer releases, there will  be plenty of screen time for 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.