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.

Preparing for a Retail Reset

By Marge Axelrad and Mark Tosh
Thursday, May 21, 2020 12:30 AM How does a leader prepare for a never-known-before challenge? Pause. Breathe. Rely on colleagues. Get the real facts. Make a plan. Be prepared to change it. Do the right thing for your team, your employees, your company, your patients. As we examine the 2019 year past, VM asked a few of our Top 2020 U.S. Optical Retailer executive leaders about the pandemic and what it could mean for the future. 
- The Editors

2019’s Consolidation Impacted in Mid to Upper Tier, Growth of Value Sector

By Marge Axelrad and Mark Tosh
Monday, May 18, 2020 12:29 AM NEW YORK— Calendar sales of optical services and products at retail were healthy. In a market that grew to nearly $37.5 billion in the U.S., according to The Vision Council’s VisionWatch tracking, sales grew at a nice pace over the prior year, for all ECPs, regional and national companies. Business was solid, for companies large and small.

VM's Top 50 Sales Concentration Grows

By Marge Axelrad and Mark Tosh
Monday, May 18, 2020 12:28 AM NEW YORK—Comparable to prior VM Top 50 reports, there was a concentration of sales among the 2020 VM Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers, accounting for an estimated $15.7 billion of a $37.5 billion total U.S. market for the 12 months ending Dec. 2019. The Top 10 optical retailers collectively comprise 85.4 percent of the Top 50’s collective U.S. optical retail sales, meaning that retail groups ranked numbers 11 through 50 comprise just under 15 percent of that remaining Top 50 group.

Listen Up, Tune In and Chill Out: People Turn to Podcasts for News and Information

By Mark Tosh
Friday, May 1, 2020 12:00 AM NEW YORK—Echoing an old line, it seems to be the best of times, and the worst of times, for podcasts and podcasters. Yes, most people have a lot more time on their hands and are looking for new forms of entertainment. But, on the other hand, commuting to work is way down. The train or bus routes that had been one of the places podcasting flourished have almost ceased to exist. The bottom line is that the podcast sector is a bit of an unknown right now as the U.S. market closes in on two months of work-from-home and a shelter-in-place mentality. One thing seems certain, though: news podcasts, including those focusing on COVID-19 developments, are among the most popular subjects among listeners.

The Patient Journey: An Ongoing Evolution

By Mark Tosh
Monday, April 20, 2020 12:30 AM Technology innovations and an emphasis on experiential concepts new to health care are driving significant changes in eyecare today, and these changes are influencing the way some patients approach eye exams and eyewear needs. Indeed, the eyecare practices that recognize what this new Patient Journey looks like—and that work toward adapting it—are better positioned to grow their practices by helping patients better understand their vision and eyewear solutions, according to industry leaders.

The Patients’ Decision-Making Journey in Eyecare

By Mark Tosh
Monday, April 20, 2020 12:29 AM In today’s retail and health care marketplace, there are many opportunities to influence The Patient Journey and the decision-making process that drives patients’ choices. The goal for ODs is to help prompt both current patients and prospective patients to move forward with the vision care and eyewear that improves their quality of life.

8 Things (Some Free) to Keep You Distracted From Thinking About That Other Thing

By Mark Tosh
Friday, April 3, 2020 2:58 PM NEW YORK—Good morning. It’s Saturday, in case you’ve lost track. The start of the weekend and time to take a break and relax. Yes, in fact, it might be a good day to get out and ….. oh, wait. We’re not doing that now. If you’re in New York, New Jersey, New Orleans or many other places around the nation, what you need is a distraction—a fun and tranquil diversion—to get you through the weekend. So here are eight things that we believe will carry you through the weekend and take your mind off that other stuff going on out there. At least it’s a start on what to talk about on your next Zoom happy hour.

Transitions Optical Updates ECPs on 2020 Launch Plans at Academy

By Mark Tosh
Monday, March 16, 2020 12:45 AM ORLANDO, Fla.—Transitions Optical took the wraps off a few significant launches planned for 2020 at the recent Transitions Academy. Overall, more than 1,000 industry professionals attended the three-day event here at the J.W. Marriott Grande Lakes.

Ben Franklin, World Wars and Farmers: What You May Not Know About Spring-Ahead Time

By Mark Tosh
Friday, March 6, 2020 11:57 AM NEW YORK—For many of us, this weekend is either the best of times or the worst of times. Or even a combination of the two. Why, you ask. It’s the weekend that we “spring ahead,” which means pushing the clock forward one hour and losing that hour of sleep from Saturday night into Sunday morning. Yes, on Sunday, March 8, most Americans will turn their clocks forward one hour (does anyone still have an analog clock?) as Daylight Saving Time (DST) begins in the U.S. Here's some trivia on the DST tradition.

Myopia Management

By Mark Tosh
Monday, February 10, 2020 12:30 AM Myopia is not a new vision condition, but the growing awareness of the eye health risks associated with this common ophthalmic disorder, especially among eye-care professionals, is a somewhat contemporary phenomenon. Indeed, myopia is the most common ophthalmic condition in the world, with an estimated 34 percent of the world’s population, or roughly 2.62 billion people, affected by this condition, according to recent research.

A 20-Year Journey to Perfect the Practice of Myopia Management

By Mark Tosh
Monday, February 10, 2020 12:29 AM HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, N.J.—Dr. Nicholas Despotidis, a partner with Eyecare Professionals, has invested considerable time and resources over the past two decades to become one of the leading practitioners of myopia management. During this time, Despotidis has written two books and developed a TED talk on the myopia topic, while also conducting annual workshops on practice management techniques

San Francisco ECP Draws Upon Treehouse Eyes’ Resources

By Mark Tosh
Monday, February 10, 2020 12:28 AM SAN FRANCISCO—The philosophy at Pacific Rims Optometry in San Francisco is straightforward and easy for patients to comprehend. The practice—with two locations in the city—notes that its optometrists will take the time to explain the results of an eye exam, describe the options and listen to each patient’s eyecare needs.

Mentors Pass Along Key Elements of Myopia Management

By Mark Tosh
Monday, February 10, 2020 12:27 AM PARK RIDGE, Ill.—Myopia management is just one part of the special services that Dr. Daniel Press emphasizes at the Park Ridge Vision practice here, but it is a growing area and a significant component of the overall practice. Press noted that he sees the importance of taking an individualized approach to treating each myopic patient.

Orlando Practice Finds Success With a ‘Proactive’ Approach to Myopia

By Mark Tosh
Monday, February 10, 2020 12:26 AM Ocoee, Fla.—Dr. Roxanne Achong-Coan of the Coan Eye Care & Optical Boutique located here has been deeply interested in working with myopic patients and staying abreast of treatment options for most of her career. She is certified in the fitting of Paragon CRT lenses and is a Fellow of the International Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control (FIAOMC). She’s also one of the first to be involved with the recently launched Brilliant Futures Myopia Management Program by CooperVision.