Consolidation Reshapes VM’s Top 50 U.S. Retailers; Vision Source Emerges in Top Spot

By Staff
Monday, May 15, 2017 12:24 AM


NEW YORK—Consolidations and the involvement of private equity investments which are spurring acquisitions of independent and regional retail/practice groups are reshaping the U.S. optical industry. As a result, there is a new positioning among the top players within the 2017 Vision Monday Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailer’s Report, issued today, which exclusively assesses rankings based on 2016 calendar year sales.

Vision Source, which operates as a franchisor with 3,344 locations, reported collective revenues of $2,632 million in 2016, bringing it to the number 1 position on Vision Monday’s list for the first time. Vision Source was acquired by Essilor in 2015. Vision Source locations numbered 3,262 in the prior year, when overall revenues from its locations were $2,511.5 million.

Luxottica Retail, which has held that top spot for many years, is ranked at number 2 in the new report VM’s estimates for Luxottica Retail optical stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, were $2,400 million for the calendar year 2016 period. The company strategically re-evaluated its mix, design and approach in the U.S., closing certain underperforming stores, many within Sears’ locations, and embarking on a store refurbishment and new store design for LensCrafters, a major expansion at Target, the focus on Pearle as the neighborhood eye doctor and a realignment of its higher end stores in 2016.

Maintaining its rank at number three were Wal-Mart Stores, with VM estimated sales of $1,733 million, consisting of Wal-Mart operated optical centers and Sam’s Club opticals.

National Vision, Inc. generated VM estimated sales of $1,150 million for the period, breaking through the $1 billion mark for its estimated 943 locations across its brands and formats.

Costco Wholesale optical business came in at number 5 with sales of $961 million from 491 locations, while Visionworks of America maintained its rank of number 6 with sales of $917.9 million from 748 stores operated as of the end of Dec. 2016.

MyEyeDr./Capital Vision Services was number seven with sales of $411 million for the year after an expansion to 318 locations for the calendar year 2016. Refac Optical Group, at number 8, generated sales of $280 million from its 780 locations in a range of retail environment and formats.

EyeCare Partners, which grew from 129 locations to 230 in the year period, jumped from its number 11 ranking last year to the number 9 spot this year with sales of $275 million. Eyemart Express Ltd., growing to 182 locations in 2016, generated sales of $245 million in the period.in the number 10 spot, moving up from number 9 last year.

VM’s Top 10 U.S. Optical Retailers comprised an estimated 31.6 percent of the total U.S. optical market’s retail revenues of $34.9 billion in 2016.

A look at the complete ranking of the 50 leading optical retailers in the U.S., Snapshots of the Top 10, a focused look at seven mass merchants and wholesale clubs’ optical business, along with other industry statistics is posted in the full report. The report appears within the digital and print May 15th editions of Vision Monday as well as on Vision Monday’s website today. PDFs of this year’s report along with prior year’s Top 50 reports are also on the site.