Global Independent Optical Association CECOP Enters North America With Acquisition of Combine Buying Group

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NEW YORK—CECOP, the global independent optical association, announced today that it has acquired Combine Buying Group , marking its entry into the North American market and increasing its global membership of opticians and optometrists by more than 10 percent. The acquisition, executives told VMAIL, is the first step in the firm’s aggressive strategy to acquire significant market share in North America and demonstrate its commitment to the U.S. market. CECOP plans to leverage proven strategies for success gleaned from nearly 25 years of growth in the independent optical market internationally along with market insights locally, to deliver unmatched value to members and partner suppliers across the U.S., they said.

Founded in 1996 as an alliance to help independent opticians compete with larger, corporate providers and retailers, CECOP has evolved into a global association delivering collective buying power, operational best practices, strategic solutions and other services to 4,500 independent opticians and optometrists and more than 120 brand partners across Europe and Latin America. CECOP helps members effectively manage their businesses and grow customer loyalty; it also helps partner manufacturers in the optical space reach, build brand awareness and grow business with an active group of buyers, the announcement said.

Ignacio Macias, CEO of CECOP North America.

“CECOP will work hard to earn the trust and loyalty of CBG members in the U.S.,” said CECOP founder and CEO Jorge Rubio. “We are excited to bring the advancements we’ve developed in European and Latin American markets to our new North American customers and know that they’ll benefit significantly from the solutions we have planned. Our goal is to be a true partner to optometrist entrepreneurs, to be by their side, helping them achieve their dreams."

“I’m happy that our members will have the opportunity to benefit from the experience CECOP brings to the table and its focus on the optical buying group space,” said Glenn Spina, CEO of Combine Buying Group’s parent company, Emerging Vision Inc. “Independent optical retailers can be assured of a seamless transition to new ownership and continuity of operations. CECOP will be introducing a lot of innovative programs in this U.S. market, which will be extremely beneficial to every member of Combine Buying Group.”

Driving CECOP’s international success has been its ability to collaborate with local partners who can add value to independent optometrists—particularly in these challenging conditions. This strategy will continue to drive CECOP’s success in the North American market. “We look forward to growing the network of U.S. manufacturers and brands that are eager to share unique offerings with our members,” said Ignacio Macias, CEO, CECOP North America. “And we are convinced that independent optometrists across North America will find in our community a fundamental place of collaboration to successfully overcome market challenges and provide great value to patients.”

CECOP, founded in 1996 by Rubio, has operations in Spain, Portugal, Italy, England, Ireland, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and the U.S.

More details and information for members and partners can be found at CECOPUSA's website and from or 1-800-676-2010.