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May 1, 2013

In This Edition

Stanton Optical

dba q&a

Third Party System
Profitable Strategies

In Your Employ

ECP Market Share



Customized Design Combined With Empowering Employees Make Stanton a Success

By John Sailer

PALM SPRINGS, Fla.—From the 30-foot-tall, distinctive white and orange freestanding stores that become landmarks in the cities in which they are built to the private label frame lines named for effective employees, Stanton Optical follows its own unique formula when selling eyeglasses. Since its founding less than 10 years ago, the chain has grown from just a few stores in the Midwest to approaching more than 55 locations by the end of next year.

With 30 locations in operation and 17 currently under construction throughout the United States, Stanton Optical's exponential pace of growth continues unabated. On track to have 47 locations up and running by the end of 2013, the company has expanded significantly since CEO Daniel Stanton opened just a few Midwestern locations in 2006, initially all managed out of his Indianapolis basement with about five employees.


dba q&a

Eye-Where: When Patients Take Eyewear into Their Own Hands

Patients expecting repairs and adjustments on glasses they bought somewhere else, requesting to take their prescription elsewhere and asking eyecare professionals to provide them with their PD measurements all seem to be accelerating, particularly as buying online increases. From doing it all for free to charging for measurements or withholding information, ECPs' reactions to these requests vary, and here a diverse group of optical retailing leaders share their varied responses.

The following optical retailers told dba the policies they follow when patients take eyewear into their own hands: Larry L. Pearson, president and CEO, Midwest Vision Centers; Brad Bowers, managing partner, Bowers & Snyder Opticians; Judd Sky, president/CEO, Partners in Vision Inc.; Stephen L. Franklin, chief executive officer, Accurate Optical Company, Inc.; Alan Ulsifer, OD, CEO and president, FYidoctors; Gordon A. Bishop, FNAO, ABOC, RO, CEO and president, Sunland Optical; Mark Johnson, director of optical services, Virginia Eye Institute; and David H. Hettler, OD, Drs. May & Hettler.


Third Party System

Profit from Your Frame Sales in Today's Managed Care Environment

By Jay Binkowitz and Evan Kestenbaum, MBA, dba Contributors

We can all learn a lesson about the recent trials and tribulations of J. C. Penney. Ron Johnson, formally an Apple executive, was hired as CEO to help J. C. Penney's turnaround. In 2012, he started a new strategy of bottom line prices, no discounts, no coupons, no nonsense. In 2012, sales dropped 25 percent, losing revenue and market share to its competitors. Subsequently, Johnson was removed from his position and given a seat on the board. (Don't feel bad for him; he now gets compensated $1 million per year.)

Overall, the no-nonsense strategy was a failure. A recent New York Times article by Stephanie Clifford and Catherine Rampell, titled Sometimes, We Want Prices to Fool Us, explains the psychology that shoppers have today. It says "...most shoppers, coupon collectors or not, want the thrill of getting a great deal, even if it's an illusion."



In Your Employ

VHR-Advisor—A New Platform and System Help Multi-Location Practices Develop Performance-Based Staff Evaluations

By Marge Axelrad

NEW YORK—Challenges with staff management are often mentioned by eyecare professionals and optical retailers as one of their most pressing concerns.

A new web-based program, VHR-Advisor has been developed to solve many of those issues for practices, whether they are operating from one or a handful of locations or across multi-unit groups as large as 50 or more.



Primary Eyecare Provider Market Share

NEW YORK—Corporate eyecare providers, primarily retail chains, have a 32 percent market share of the primary eyecare patient population and a 46 percent share of primary eyecare revenue, according to the Review of Optometric Business special report on Challenges and Opportunities in the Future of Independent Optometry, sponsored by Vision Source.



John Sailer, Senior Editor

Send us news about your mid-size regional optical chain or optometric group, provide us with subjects and/or questions for a future dba q&a or let us know what topics you'd like to see covered. Contact dba's Editor John Sailer at jsailer@jobson.com.

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