Sam’s Club to Open 10 Optical Centers in Oklahoma

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BENTONVILLE, Ark.—Sam’s Club, which operates about 540 optical departments at its stores across the U.S., is opening four new optical centers in the Oklahoma City area. The move follows a change in state regulations, which took effect in 2019, that allow optometrists to practice within retail establishments. The company is expected to open 10 optical centers in the state by this summer, according to an announcement from Sam’s Club. Sam’s is a unit of Walmart.

The first four of the new Sam’s Club Optical Centers are scheduled to open at the following locations:

1117 W. I-35 Frontage Rd., Edmond, OK 73034 (opened)

9000 N.W. Passage, Oklahoma City, OK 73132 (opening soon)

4101 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73112 (opening soon)

1900 W. Memorial Rd., Oklahoma City, OK 73134 (opening soon).

Sam’s did not announce the details of the remaining six optical departments planned for the state this year.

The 2019 Oklahoma legislation removed from statute a prohibition on the sale of eyewear in non-medical, retail settings, as VMAIL reported

According to the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians (OAOP), the legislation (Senate Bill 100) also protects Oklahoma’s vision health standards while increasing convenience for consumers. The new regulations allow retail stores to sell frames and lenses, and also lease space to optometrists.

Although any optometry clinic leasing space from a retail store must be a separate legal entity owned and operated by an optometric physician licensed in Oklahoma. In addition, the optometry clinic is required to be physically separate from the retail space, with its own external entrance. The regulations passed last year in Oklahoma maintain the state’s status as one of 16 so-called “two door” states.