Latest News Pearle Vision Re-licensed 27 Eyecare Centers in 2013, States Goal To Convert Additional 40-45 in 2014 By Staff Friday, March 14, 2014 12:27 AM MASON, Ohio— Pearle Vision, a division of Luxottica Group (NYSE: LUX) said it had signed agreements with new and existing Pearle Vision licensees, converting 27 neighborhood eyecare centers from company-owned to licensee-owned in 2013. The company plans to continue this re-licensing effort in 2014 with the conversion of 40 to 45 additional centers, an announcement said. "Converting 27 of Pearle Vision's corporate locations to local optometrists and investors was quite an accomplishment for the brand last year," said Pete Bridgman, senior vice president and general manager, Pearle Vision. "We owe our progress and success to the 10 new and 17 existing licensees, who see the growth potential with Pearle and have a desire to serve their communities and provide the best possible eyecare to their patients." Of the 27 licensing agreements, Pearle Vision announced 10 new licensees in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas, Tennessee, Illinois and Iowa. In addition, 17 existing Pearle Vision licensees chose to expand their center ownership by licensing additional centers in Texas, New Jersey, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, New York, Wisconsin, Nevada, Illinois and Puerto Rico. Ted Brink, OD, who assumed ownership of four Pearle Vision eyecare centers across northern Florida this year and has been a practicing optometrist for over two decades, said, "Pearle Vision offers optometrists like myself the autonomy to practice in a way that meets patients' needs, but gives us the valuable marketing and buying power of a larger group. Pearle Vision's support team is unmatched, and that is why I chose to expand my business this past year." "It's clear that Pearle Vision, with its 50-year legacy, proven systems and comprehensive support, is a terrific opportunity for optometrists to become business owners without the typical risk associated with new practice start-ups," said Bridgman. "Our doctor-centered business model allows the optometrist to focus on delivering quality eyecare, while we focus on delivering superior unit economics that lead to long-term success." To fuel further growth, the company is looking for optometrists interested in licensing opportunities. According to the announcement, Pearle Vision licensees can expect their initial investment to build a new center to cost approximately $200,000, in addition to a licensing fee of $30,000. Those optometrists interested in exploring re-licensing or new development opportunities should call 1.800.PEARLE.1 or visit licensing.ownapearlevision.com. Most recently, Pearle Vision was ranked #112 in Entrepreneur's 2014 Franchise 500, making a 48-point increase from the 2013 ranking, the statement noted. Pearle Vision was founded in 1961 by Dr. Stanley Pearle. In 1981, Pearle Vision began offering licenses to select doctors and opticians. Today, Pearle operates 600 eyecare centers throughout the U.S.