Chinese-Origin Optical Products Are on Updated 10 Percent Tariff Lists Starting Sept. 1 and Dec. 15

By Staff
Wednesday, August 14, 2019 12:24 AM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Yesterday, the Trump administration set forth two sub-lists of tariff numbers included in the fourth tranche of China 301 tariffs scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 1, 2019 and Dec. 15, 2019. This means that Chinese-origin spectacle lenses, spectacle frames, sunglasses, reading glasses, eyeglasses, safety glasses, goggles and many low vision devices will be subject to an additional 10 percent tariff on those dates, according to an alert The Vision Council sent to its members late yesterday.

Pearle Vision Signs New Area Development Agreement for Central Florida

By Staff
Tuesday, August 13, 2019 12:16 AM MASON, Ohio—Several new Pearle Vision EyeCare Centers are planned to open soon in central Florida, according to a recent company announcement. Licensed owner Kim Dawson will open the first of three EyeCare Centers in the Windermere and Winter Garden areas of Florida in 2020, the announcement noted. Pearle Vision’s area development program grants territories to qualified candidates to develop and open new locations, the company has noted of its franchising program. This type of development program allows for steady and predictable growth in a specific territory with a specific business team.

Highmark Health Cites Strong Sales at Visionworks as Contributor to First-Half Financial Results

By Staff
Friday, August 9, 2019 12:18 AM PITTSBURGH, Pa.—Highmark Health, the second largest integrated health care delivery and financing network in the nation, on Thursday reported first-half financial results showing an excess of revenue over expenses of $629 million and an operating gain of $410 million. The firm credited “strong sales” at its Visionworks optical retail unit, as well as other factors, as contributing to the group's “extended positive financial momentum.” Total consolidated revenues for Highmark Health were $9.2 billion for the first six months of the year, which compared with just under $9.4 billion in the year-ago period, the announcement noted.

GrandVision Acquires McOptic, Switzerland’s Third-Largest Optical Retailer

By Staff
Tuesday, August 6, 2019 12:18 AM SCHIPHOL, the Netherlands—GrandVision NV (EURONEXT:GVNV) has acquired 100 percent of Graffiti Holding AG, which holds 100 percent of McOptic, according to an announcement late last week. McOptic is the third-largest optical retailer in Switzerland with an estimated market share of 5 percent via its Swiss business Visilab, the announcement noted. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. McOptic was founded in 1998 and operates 62 stores, which are concentrated in the German speaking parts of the country, according to the announcement.

EssilorLuxottica to Acquire HAL’s Controlling Interest in GrandVision

By Staff
Wednesday, July 31, 2019 6:15 AM CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France—EssilorLuxottica (Reuters: ESLX.PA) announced today that it will significantly expand its retail footprint through an agreement with Hal Optical Investments B.V., a wholly-owned subsidiary of HAL Holding N.V. to acquire HAL’s controlling interest in GrandVision, a global optical retail powerhouse with over 7,200 stores worldwide, over 37,000 employees and €3.7 billion in annual revenue. Financial analysts valued the deal at €7.1billion, and see it as a sign that tensions between Essilor and Luxottica are easing following months of bickering between the French and Italian partners over the company’s governance.

Acuity Eyecare Group Enters Texas Market With Two Multi-Location Acquisitions

By Staff
Wednesday, July 31, 2019 12:24 AM DALLAS—Riata Capital Group announced Tuesday that its portfolio company Acuity Eyecare Group (AEG), an owner and operator of leading North American eyecare groups and optometry practices, has acquired 11 regional eyecare practices in Texas. These acquisitions are the first for AEG in the Texas market. The terms of the deals were not disclosed. The acquisitions include:
EyeTx Vision Centers: Founded in 1985, EyeTx Vision Centers operates six locations across San Antonio. EyeTx optometrists are therapeutic and glaucoma certified. They specialize in routine eyecare, contact lens and gas permeable fittings, bi-focal contact lens fitting, kerotoconus fittings and ortho-K fittings, according to the announcement. Cleinman Performance Partners served as the exclusive advisor for EyeTx Vision Centers.

My Eyelab Expands in Dallas/Fort Worth With Eight New Stores

By Staff
Wednesday, July 31, 2019 12:21 AM DALLAS—My Eyelab a retail brand of Now Optics, a leading eye health provider offering accessible and affordable eyecare and eyewear, announced an expanded retail presence in eight Dallas/Fort Worth market locations including Irving, McKinney, Fort Worth, Hurst, Denton, Plano, Garland, and Rockwall with opening dates between Aug. 5 and Oct. 28. Due to the company’s growth, stores are hiring for about 50 positions in a variety of roles, the announcement said. According to Tom Duggan, vice president of operations for My Eyelab, the uptick in population, growth, and development in the Dallas/Fort Worth market are positive indicators for our company’s expansion.

The Jobson Optical Research 2019 U.S. Optical Retailer Report & Directory Is Now Available

By Staff
Wednesday, July 31, 2019 12:15 AM NEW YORK—Jobson Optical Research’s 2019 Optical Retailer Report & Directory is now available. The directory contains a comprehensive list of the top optical retailers in the U.S., including contact information for the company headquarters, key executives, buyer names for all product categories, and trade names/DBAs. The list includes about 70 headquarter locations. In addition, the report and directory includes Vision Monday’s annual “Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers” ranking and analysis, which includes 2018 estimated sales and business unity counts for each retailer.

Visionworks Says New Advertising Campaign Positions the Company for New Growth

By Staff
Tuesday, July 16, 2019 12:21 AM SAN ANTONIO, Texas—Visionworks has launched a new brand campaign, “See the Difference," that the optical retail company said will position it for a “new phase of growth.” The campaign is designed to introduce audiences “to a comedic cast of villainous eyecare executives intent on making the industry as complex as possible,” Visionworks said in its announcement on Monday. The multimedia effort also is intended to show audiences that "eyecare really doesn't have to be that difficult," the announcement noted.

U.S. To Hold Off Implementation of China 201 List 4 Tariffs; China and U.S. to Resume Trade Negotiations

By Staff
Tuesday, July 2, 2019 12:18 AM
ALEXANDRIA, Va.—As the Group of 20 Nations (“G20”) Summit concluded on June 29, President Trump announced that the U.S. would hold off at this time from assessing additional customs duties on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese imports. Instead, the U.S. and China agreed to restart talks toward achieving a negotiated settlement to the ongoing trade war between the two countries. In addition, President Trump announced at the G20 that the ban imposed last month by the U.S. Department of Commerce on Chinese tech giant Huawei would be lifted so that U.S. companies can continue to sell to it, a significant concession to China.

VSP Global Enters Into Definitive Agreement to Acquire Visionworks

By Staff
Thursday, June 27, 2019 10:15 AM RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—VSP Global announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire San Antonio, Texas-based Visionworks, subject to completion of regulatory approval. With a footprint of more than 700 stores in nearly 40 states, the Visionworks acquisition will be the single largest VSP network investment in the company’s 65-year history, the company said. “This transaction is highly complementary to our business and marks a significant leap forward in continuing to fulfill our vision to provide access to affordable, high-quality eyecare and eyewear to more people,” said Michael Guyette, president and CEO of VSP Global. “With expanded nationwide access, we’ll provide our clients and members with an option for a more substantial, consistent and sustainable retail experience, further enhanced by the professional care of VSP network doctors.”

VSP Global Opens Its First Two Eyeconic Brick-and-Mortar Stores in Chicago

By Staff
Wednesday, June 26, 2019 12:27 AM RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—VSP Global enters brick-and-mortar retailing today with the opening of the company’s first two Eyeconic stores in the country, located in the Chicago market. The Bucktown location has had a soft opening since mid-June and will have a grand opening on June 29, while the second will be in Fulton Market opening on July 13 , the company said. In an interview with VMAIL, Bill Vaughan, president of VSP Retail, described some of the thinking and planning that went into creating the digital and merchandising features of the new locations.

Acuity Eyecare Group Acquires Carlsson Family Eye Center Near Phoenix

By Staff
Tuesday, June 25, 2019 12:21 AM DALLAS—Riata Capital Group reported that its portfolio company Acuity Eyecare Group  has acquired Carlsson Family Eye Center, a single-location practice based in Gilbert, Ariz., a town about 25 miles southeast of Phoenix. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Acuity, which was formed in 2017 owns and operates 108 eyecare practice locations across eight states under 10 different local brands following its most recent acquisition. In addition, the firm operates a large, full-service digital lab operation. The firm previously this month reported that it had closed on three separate acquisitions, as VMAIL reported.

FYidoctors Adds Another Location in Ontario, While Visique Unit Also Adds a Practice in Gaspe, Canada

By Staff
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 12:21 AM MISSISSAUGA,  Ontario—FYidoctors, an optometrist-owned eyecare company, announced that Dr. Dianne Powell & Associates Optometrist are joining the FYidoctors organization. This marks the second clinic acquisition in Mississauga in April and adds to the growing presence of FYidoctors clinics in Ontario, according to an announcement this week. “Every decision we make as a clinic is done with the best interest of our patients in mind,” Powell said in the announcement. “By joining the FYidoctors family, we have done just that and are thrilled to work with a company that values patients over products and is committed to the long-term health and well-being of them.”

Costa Invites Industry to Join its Initiative to Combat Plastic Lens Waste

By Staff
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 2:45 PM DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—In an effort to address the estimated 420 million plastic lenses (including new purchases and redos) disposed by the optical industry every two years, Costa launched an ambitious new plan, paving the way for eyecare professionals and the optical industry to tackle the problem, according to the company. The Kick Plastic Lens Recycling Program, announced last month at Vision Expo East, is an innovative program that encourages eyecare professionals to collect, recycle and repurpose plastic lenses from optical frames or sunglasses.

Protecting the oceans it calls home is one of Costa’s main brand values, and it inspired the company’s larger Kick Plastic initiative to raise awareness for how waste from single-use plastic pollutes the oceans. Plastic is the number one trash produced globally and takes over 400 years to decompose.

Costa has partnered with Piedmont Plastics to implement the first-ever program to recycle optical plastic lens waste and repurpose into a variety of products, such as: safety glasses, motorcycle helmet shields and scuba masks to name a few. Two Piedmont Plastics locations are participating at this time: Piedmont Plastics – West, 17000 Valley View Ave., La Mirada, Calif. 90638 and Piedmont Plastics – East, 2175, Mason Ave., Daytona Beach, Fla. 32117.

ECPs who are interested in being part of the movement to address plastic pollution can become a Costa Kick Plastic Ambassador. In return for their support, they will receive a special designation as a Kick Plastic Ambassador on the Costa dealer locator website as well as Kick Plastic water bottles for their staff and communication materials to encourage patients to join the movement and #kickplastic. Contact Costa at for more information.

Just after the show, Costa told Vision Monday, “We’ve been overwhelmed and gratified by the post-launch success of the program. We had an additional 50 ECPs sign up to be Kick Plastic Ambassadors, nearly doubling our prior participation—signaling the industry’s interest in resources that help them with sustainability.”

“For 35 years, Costa has been committed to making great sunglasses and protecting the water we love. Working together across the optical industry to create sustainable solutions that help protect our planet and address plastic pollution is a priority for us,” said Holly Rush, CEO, Costa.

“Our lens recycling program is a tangible way we can all work together to create meaningful change—our goal is to onboard 1,000 practices in year 1, which will allow us to recycle and repurpose over 50 tons of plastic lenses. Costa is the first in the industry to invest in and offer a program like this available to everyone—paving the way for future initiatives and increased sustainability for the optical industry as a whole,” Rush said.

Costa was honored by the industry via the Vision Monday and 20/20 EyeVote program as the leader in the 2017 Social Purpose: Company and 2018 and 2017 Social Purpose: Brand categories. Costa utilizes bio-based, eco-friendly resin in most of its nylon sunglasses and optical frames, greatly reducing their emissions and overall carbon footprint.