CooperVision Best Practices Roundtable Addresses Hot Topics in the Optical Industry

By Staff
Thursday, June 20, 2024 12:27 AM NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Recent best practice honorees and student award recipients weighed in on hot topics relevant to the optical industry and profession on Wednesday during a roundtable discussion hosted by CooperVision at Optometry’s Meeting here. Topics selected by the honorees and discussed included new and emerging technologies, contact lenses and myopia management, according to CooperVision. Back in March, as reported by VMAIL, CooperVision announced its 2024 Best Practices honorees and student award recipients. The initiative—now in its ninth year—honors innovative U.S. eyecare practices who are committed to advancing the profession and providing exceptional patient care, while the student component enables standout third-year optometry students to learn directly from the best of the best, the company said.

The National Average for Gross Revenue at ECP Locations Increased for the Week of June 10–16, Jobson’s Latest Practice Performance Tracker Shows

By Staff
Thursday, June 20, 2024 12:24 AM NEW YORK—The national average for gross revenue at ECP locations increased last week, June 10–16, when compared with the previous week, at a rate of 3 index points. That places gross revenue at a level 11 index points above where it was at this point in time (Week 24) when compared with last year (2023), 18 points above the same period in 2022, 22 points above 2021, 24 points above 2020 and 29 points above 2019, according to Jobson’s most recent Practice Performance Tracker.

Kenmark Eyewear and Original Penguin Renew License

By Staff
Thursday, June 20, 2024 12:21 AM LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Kenmark Eyewear has announced the renewal of its exclusive license agreement to develop, produce and distribute eyewear for the Original Penguin brand. Kenmark has designed and distributed eyewear in collaboration with Original Penguin for over a decade, beginning in 2011; this renewed partnership will continue until 2029, the announcement said. Since the start of their affiliation, Kenmark Eyewear and Original Penguin have successfully launched multiple eyewear segments, including Original Penguin optical, sun and junior collections. The synergy between the two teams has resulted in products that are both original and reflective of the heritage brand’s aesthetic, Kenmark said in a statement.

Process of Defining ANFAO Governance Completed

By Staff
Wednesday, June 19, 2024 12:09 PM As planned at the beginning of her term, Lorraine Berton, now ANFAO president, also became president of the subsidiary IES Srl, the service company which successfully manages a number of activities, including Mido | Milano Eyewear Show.

Retail Sales Climb in May, U.S. Census Bureau Reports

By Staff
Wednesday, June 19, 2024 11:33 AM Retail sales continue to rise, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. These figures prompted the National Retail Federation to predict further economic expansion as inflation pressure wanes. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, overall retail sales were up 0.1 percent in May, seasonally adjusted month-over-month and up 2.3 percent unadjusted year over year. In April, retail sales fell 0.2 percent month-over-month, however, this represented an increase of 2.7 percent year over year in April.

May’s core retail sales, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, were up 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted month over month and up 2.9 percent unadjusted year over year. This is excluding automobile dealers, gas stations and restaurants. Meanwhile, core retail sales were up 3.5 percent year over year for the first five months of the year.

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for May 2024, were $703 billion, up 0.1 percent from the previous month, and up 2.3 percent compared with May 2023, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price change, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.

Total sales for the March 2024 through May 2024 period were up 2.9 percent from the same period a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau report. Meanwhile, the March 2024 to April 2024 percent change was revised from virtually unchanged to down to 0.2 percent.

Marco Healthcare and Lombart Healthcare Combine to Form Marco Lombart

By Staff
Wednesday, June 19, 2024 2:30 AM JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Advancing Eyecare (AEC), a partnership of companies in the eyecare instrumentation and equipment marketplace, and a provider of ophthalmic instruments, has announced that two of its leading business units, Marco Healthcare and Lombart Healthcare, will combine to form a new business named Marco Lombart. Effective July 1, 2024, Marco Lombart will offer a broad portfolio of eyecare equipment, products and services, as well as advanced technologies, the announcement stated. The combination will also bring together two teams to create a unified sales force with extensive eyecare experience and expertise, as well as knowledge of Marco Lombart’s range of new and pre-owned solutions.

EssilorLuxottica and Diesel Announce 10-Year Licensing Agreement

By Staff
Wednesday, June 19, 2024 12:24 AM CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France and MILAN—EssilorLuxottica and Diesel have announced an exclusive license agreement for the design, manufacture and worldwide distribution of Diesel eyewear. This agreement is effective immediately until December 31, 2029, with an automatic renewal option of an additional five years.

The Vision Council Foundation Touts Record Number of Opening Your Eyes Scholarship Fund Recipients

By Staff
Wednesday, June 19, 2024 12:15 AM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Vision Council Foundation has announced a record-breaking number of opticianry school graduates who benefited from scholarships this year, setting a new record for the organization.

High Temperatures to Push Electricity Prices Upward, Energy Information Administration Reports

By Staff
Tuesday, June 18, 2024 2:19 PM Americans can expect to spend more on electricity this summer, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The agency is predicting that the average monthly electricity bill will hit $173 between June and August, up from $168 in 2023. Higher summer temperatures are expected to send prices upward this summer, however, lower overall residential electricity prices should keep rates in check. 

According to the EIA, most regions consume 90 percent of their electricity in the summer due to air conditioner usage. Areas such as the Gulf Coast have some of the highest consumption rates, while the Pacific Coast and New England see more moderate usage. 

EIA experts believe residential customers in Pacific Coast states will likely see the biggest increase in electricity prices, by as much as 7 percent. This is due to an increase in the region’s retail price, which is expected to reach 25 cents/kWh, the second highest in the nation.

Meanwhile, residential customers in New England will see lower electricity prices this summer, falling by 7 percent with an average electricity price of 26 cents/kWh.

Residential electricity customers in the Middle Atlantic states including New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania will see the largest increase in typical summer bills by as much as $14 per month due to increased electricity use and higher electricity prices.

The Pacific region is predicted to rise an average of $11 per month this summer because of higher prices and similar levels of electricity consumption.

Specsavers Champions Next Generation of Optometrists in Canada With ASCO Sponsorship

By Staff
Tuesday, June 18, 2024 11:01 AM Specsavers has announced their sponsorship of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO). ASCO represents the interests of institutions of optometric education and enhances the efforts of these institutions as they prepare highly qualified graduates of optometry to best serve the public’s eye health needs.

CooperVision Promotes Dr. Michele Andrews and Melissa Kiewe to New Leadership Roles

By Staff
Tuesday, June 18, 2024 12:24 AM ROCHESTER, N.Y.—CooperVision, a division of CooperCompanies (NASDAQ:COO) and leading manufacturer of contact lenses, has announced the promotion of two of its senior executives, Michele Andrews, OD, and Melissa Kiewe, into new leadership roles. According to the announcement, Dr. Andrews has been promoted to vice president, marketing and professional affairs, Americas. Kiewe, who previously served as vice president of marketing, Americas, has been promoted to vice president, global strategy and planning.

Specsavers Enters Into Sponsorship Agreement With Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

By Staff
Tuesday, June 18, 2024 12:21 AM VANCOUVER, British Columbia—Specsavers, a Canadian eyecare and eyewear provider, has announced their sponsorship of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, which represents the interests of institutions of optometric education and enhances the efforts of these institutions as they prepare graduates of optometry to best serve the public’s eye health needs.

Aurion Biotech CEO Greg Kunst Named Ernst & Young 2024 Entrepreneur of the Year for the Mountain West Region

By Staff
Tuesday, June 18, 2024 12:18 AM SEATTLE, BOSTON, and TOKYO—Aurion Biotech, a clinical-stage biotech company that is developing a platform of advanced therapies to treat ocular diseases, has announced that CEO Greg Kunst has been named winner of the Ernst & Young 2024 Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Mountain West Region.

Registration Is Now Open for Academy 2024 in Indianapolis

By Staff
Tuesday, June 18, 2024 12:15 AM INDIANAPOLIS—The American Academy of Optometry has announced that registration is open for Academy 2024 to be held Nov. 6-9, 2024 in Indianapolis at the Indiana Convention Center.

Gas Prices Fall as Consumer Demand Wanes, AAA Reports

By Staff
Monday, June 17, 2024 2:44 PM Gas prices continue to fall despite rising temperatures, according to a new report from AAA that revealed the national average for a gallon of gasoline has slipped two cents to $3.46 in less than a week. The auto multi-service provider stated that the main reason behind the fall is slow demand and an influx in supply. 

“Gasoline demand has trailed 2023 for most of this year, and analysts believe economic uncertainty may suppress demand this summer,” said Andrew Gross, manager of AAA public relations.

Recent data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), finds gas demand rose slightly from 8.94 million barrels per day to 9.04 last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks jumped from 230.9 million to 233.5 million barrels as production averaged 10.1 million barrels per day. 

Experts at AAA believe a continued drop in demand paired with increasing supply and stable oil costs will likely lead to falling pump prices. Earlier this month, VMAIL reported that gas prices were also on the decline despite a high-risk hurricane season. 

Since June 6, 10 states have seen significant changes in gas prices. Gas prices in Ohio rose 17 cents, and prices in California, Nevada and Alaska fell 10 cents. Michigan and Indiana saw an increase of 9 cents. Illinois fell 9 cents, while Florida dropped 8 cents and Washington and Utah each fell 7 cents. Overall, the least expensive market to purchase gas is Mississippi at $2.93.

As of June 12, WTI (West Texas Intermediate oil is another benchmark used by oil market) rose by 60 cents to $78.50 a barrel. U.S. crude oil inventories sit at 4 percent below the five-year average for this time of year.