NEW YORK—Two new speakers, one reflecting a larger optical retailer’s perspective, and the other the views of an independent OD towards the advantages of new technology in the practice, have joined the program of “Minding the Store,” the upcoming VM LIVE event set for Wednesday, Sept. 13 in Las Vegas.

Doug Barnes, Jr. CEO and president of Eyemart Express, will share how he and his team have been using new systems and technology to re-strategize their competitive and service approach to customers, both in-store and online. Vision Monday’s Top 50 report ranked Eyemart Express the 10th largest optical retailer in the U.S. As of the today, Eyemart Express operates 174 stores (3 are pending) in 35 states.

Barnes spent much of his early career in software development before spearheading successful internet startups. He later oversaw a chain of women’s accessories stores. For more than 13 years, he garnered knowledge and expertise within the optical retail industry, first at the store level as an associate and manager and then at executive level as CTO, before moving into his current role of president and CEO of Eyemart Express in 2014.

David Moore, OD, of Moore Eye Center in Stephenville, Texas, a Vision Source practice, will discuss his perspective on how new technologies can change both the experiences of patients. Dr. Moore received his B.S. from Texas A&M and then his optometry degree from University of Houston School of Optometry. He established Moore Eye Center in 2007 and is a member of the Texas Optometric Association and the AOA.

The two will join Ed King, a retail innovator and customer experience (CX) expert, who will be the featured opening speaker at “Minding the Store: Digital Tech Reinvisions The Shopper’s Experience.” King has engaged retailers and brands like AT&T, Home Depot, Vision Source, Porsche and Reebok by taking a scientific approach to understanding why people act, behave, shop, purchase and remain loyal to certain brands. King believes that it takes both data and creativity to craft memorable, meaningful experiences that customers crave. King has worked at Max Media, Chief Storyteller and iris worldwide and is a frequent speaker at leading edge retail/digital events.

Sweeping changes in consumer attitudes and expectations, along with digitization and new tech tools, are impacting all businesses. “Brick-and-mortar retailers need to compete with online players; both are adapting techniques from each. Consumers are still seeking reasons to go to a store… or visit their favorite site. In stores or online, they tend to shop a brand that understands their digital lifestyle,” pointed out Marge Axelrad, Vision Monday’s editor-in-chief.

From merchandising ideas and experience displays to sales data capture and customer relationship management systems, VM LIVE will inform attendees about the latest innovations. VM LIVE is another in a series of Vision Monday’s leadership-driven, special live information-sharing and networking events, targeting top optical retailers, executive decision makers and influential practitioners.

Europa is a Platinum sponsor and ABS is a Gold sponsor of VM LIVE’s “Minding the Store: Digital Tech Reinvisions the Shopper’s Experience.” Registration is now open for VM LIVE, which will be held in Las Vegas from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sept. 13, just prior to the opening of Vision Expo West.