Bronx Born and Bred, Metro Optics Adds Fourth Location

By John Sailer
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 11:00 AM BRONX, N.Y.—After adding its fourth location in the Bronx at the end of 2014, Metro Optics has reached a level at which it can now take advantage of certain economies of scale.

SVS Vision Finds the Eye in Team

By John Sailer
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 2:00 PM MT. CLEMENS, Mich.—Eight years after Kenneth Stann and Rob Farrell, OD, purchased SVS Vision, the company has grown from 52 locations to 62 and recently restructured its executive management team to facilitate even more growth.

Most Frames Sold by Chains Priced Under $150

By John Sailer
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 1:50 PM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The majority of frames (56.1 percent) sold by optical retail chains with more than 10 locations fell within the range of $100 to $149 for the 12-month period ending Dec. 31, 2014, according to the latest statistics available from The Vision Council’s VisionWatch report.

Unexpected Detroit Opening Helps Optimize Henry Ford OptimEyes

By John Sailer
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 3:30 PM MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich.—When dba caught up with executives from Henry Ford OptimEyes last month when the optical group was named Regional Retailer of the Year at the 19th annual Transitions Academy in Orlando (see below), dba learned that the company has grown from 17 to 19 locations since March of 2013 (see "Optical Group Flourishes After Merger With Major Health System").

Regional Optical Leaders Learn to 'Social-eyes' on Social Media

By John Sailer
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 1:30 PM Social media is no longer an option. Just as having a website became a necessity in the not-too-distant past, so too have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites become integral to any marketing plan. To remain current, optical practices, particularly those with multiple locations appealing to a variety of demographics across a particular region, should participate in some form of social media and have a strategy for maintaining that presence.

2014 Optical Retail Sales Up in Nearly All Categories

By John Sailer
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 11:30 AM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The value of optical retail sales in all categories of vision care products and services (except refractive surgery) was up for the entire 2014 calendar year when compared with the entire 2013 calendar year, according to the latest statistics available from The Vision Council’s VisionWatch report.

Taking on Roles and Responsibilities: Make Them Clear, Measurable and Accountable for Staff

By Evan Kestenbaum, MBA, and Rebecca L. Johnson, CPOT, COT, COE
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 9:30 AM In today’s fast-paced optical environment, employees are often expected to be cross trained to perform more than one role in the office.

Regional Retailers Cross the Virtual Divide to Embrace E-Commerce

By John Sailer
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 9:15 AM Many eyecare professionals have now come to realize that e-commerce is just one more form of omnichannel retailing that is not going away.

Consumers 'Likely' to Buy Rx Eyeglasses Highest in More Than Two Years

By John Sailer
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 9:00 AM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The percentage of consumers who are "very likely" and "extremely likely" to buy a complete new pair of prescription eyeglasses is at its highest level since 2012, according to the most recent statistics available from The Vision Council's VisionWatch Consumer Barometer for the six-month period ending September 2014.

Nearly Half of ECPs Post on Social Media From a Few Times a Day to Once a Week

By dba Staff
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 2:00 PM NEW YORK—Nearly a quarter (23.2 percent) of the 332 respondents who participated in Jobson Research's 2014 ECP Internet Usage Study and have a social media presence for their optical practice said that their practices posted content on a social media site a few times a week in 2014, an increase of about two percent when compared with those who said they posted a few times a week in 2013.

Last Minute Cancellations Canceled With Everseat App

By John Sailer
Tuesday, January 06, 2015 2:15 PM BALTIMORE—Everseat, the app that fills last minute cancellations, is only a year old and already serves over 40 specialties, including optometry and ophthalmology.

For 2015, What Are Regional Optical Leaders' Priorities?

By dba Staff
Tuesday, January 06, 2015 2:05 PM As we begin the new year, dba asked a group of leading regional optical retailers what they have established as their priorities for 2015. Below are the answers to the following question from groups operating in various areas throughout North America.

Train Your Staff that Blue Light Lenses Are a New Product Category

By Evan Kestenbaum, MBA, and Valerie Manso, dba contributors
Tuesday, December 02, 2014 12:48 PM As digital device usage soars, the resulting digital eyestrain and exposure to damaging blue light has created a new product category for regional optical retailing groups—blue light lenses. As of January 2014, 90 percent of American adults had a cell phone, 58 percent had a smartphone, 32 percent owned an e-reader, and 42 percent owned a tablet computer, according to the Pew Internet Projects mobile technology research.

Independents Lead Frame Sales in All Regions

By dba Staff
Tuesday, December 02, 2014 12:15 PM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Independent optical retailers accounted for the highest percentage (44.8 percent) of frame sales throughout the U.S. over the twelve-month period ending September 2014, according to The Vision Council’s latest VisionWatch report, accounting for about half of all frame sales in both the Northeast (48.4 percent) and West (50.6 percent).

What's the Best Lab Strategy: In-House, Centralized or Wholesale?

By dba Staff
Tuesday, December 02, 2014 12:10 PM Mid-size regional optical retailers can control costs and quality with in-house labs or centralized labs that serve multiple locations. Or they can reduce the headaches and upfront investments by outsourcing to one or more wholesale optical labs.