BUSINESS: ICYMI Third Annual OPTImum Retail Award Program Is Open for Submissions By Staff Friday, January 24, 2020 8:06 AM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Vision Expo East 2020 has announced the third annual OPTImum Retail Award, and is accepting submissions from independent boutique retailers. The OPTImum Retail Award aims to celebrate independent boutique retailers by allowing them to showcase their products, stores, visions and stories to the optical industry. Businesses in the independent retail market are encouraged to submit their stories for consideration by Feb. 7. Applicants are asked to share their in-store innovations, individuality, culture, brand loyalty and technology usage. Details about the process are posted here.Last year’s winner, Edward Beiner of Edward Beiner Eyes Forward, based in South Miami, Fla., received the award, as VMAIL reported last March. Beiner's award was based on "the group's dedication to providing customers a meaningful experience through innovative initiatives including the Eyes Forward vision, designed to promote wisdom, passion and foresight by educating customers and instilling a sense of pride into purchases," the announcement noted, adding that the award also coincided with the release of an exclusive collection of 3D-printed eyewear designed by Edward Beiner. “It was an honor to receive the 2019 OPTImum Retail Award at last year’s Vision Expo East,” said Edward Beiner, founder of a collection of optical boutiques in Florida. “I am constantly inspired by the incredible community of independent boutique retailers in the vision community. I look forward to seeing the original and creative ideas put forward this year and wish all the entrants the best of luck in the 2020 OPTImum Retail Award competition.”2019 OPTImum Retail honoree, Edward Beiner (l) and 20/20 Magazine's editor-in-chief, James Spina. The first OPTImum Retail award winner in 2018 was optician Todd Rogers, as VMAIL reported.To determine the top three finalists this year, a committee of the industry’s top leaders will deliberate and vote on which retailers they feel are most deserving of the award. This year’s committee members include Dr. Arian Fartash, optometrist and influencer of @glamoptometrist; Christian Roth, eyewear designer and the first Council of Fashion Designers of America member in the eyewear category since 1990; and James Spina, 20/20 Magazine editor-in-chief and senior vice president.Three finalists will be announced on Feb. 21. To determine the final winner, Vision Expo social media channels will be open for voting from Feb. 21 – March 6 to be factored into the judges’ scores. The 2020 OPTImum Retail Award winner will be announced at Vision Expo East during the Independence @ The Creative Edge panel on March 28.All independent boutique retailers are encouraged to submit their application by Feb. 7. To submit your application or to find out more information, visit the Vision Expo East site here. For more Vision Expo East updates, follow along on all of Vision Expo’s social media channels, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.