Vision Source
Founded in 1991 and committed to the long-term success of independent optometry, Vision Source, North America’s largest network of private practice optometrists, again sits atop this year’s VM Top 50 Optical Retailers list. The organization included 2,994 locally owned optometric practice locations in the U.S. with 4,500 doctors in calendar year 2022.

In 2022, Vision Source celebrated a milestone for its Vision Source NEXT program, which provides resources to students and members who are looking to start, acquire, sell or work in private practice with exclusive guidance and programs. “We are extremely proud to celebrate that since the launch of Vision Source NEXT, we have helped private OD’s open more than 200 new practices. Most of those are new owners realizing their dreams to open their first practice,” executives told VM.

“This coupled with our members’ practice revenue growth well outpacing the industry, confirms our confidence in the future of Vision Source and private practice optometry.”Foreseeing the likely acceleration of private optometry consolidation, the company launched Vision Source NEXT at The Exchange 2018.

Going forward, Vision Source executive said, “As always, we will focus our investments in areas that are aligned with our members’ top priorities with exclusive tools and resources aimed to help them grow their clinical and optical revenues per patient, attract new patients, and expand or optimize their practices with added doctor and staff capacity.”

Vision Source is a part of Essilor of America, which is a division of EssilorLuxottica. In accordance with franchise law, Vision Source is a franchisor, and its members are franchisees who own their respective practice(s). The collective revenue of those practices are reported in the VM Top 50. Essilor acquired Vision Source in 2015.

Luxottica Retail
With a mix of retail brands, Luxottica Retail, part of the retail network of EssilorLuxottica, held the #2 position on the VM Top 50 ranking as the combined sales of its brands in the U.S. reflected, based on VM’s estimates, an approximate 3.5 percent increase over the prior year. That total for businesses in the U.S. and Puerto Rico was estimated at $2,500 million for 2,173 locations.

The group’s businesses include LensCrafters, with 930 total locations in the U.S. including 96 LensCrafters inside Macy’s stores. In 2022, LensCrafters enlisted award winning actress and producer Sharon Stone in a campaign that marked its 40th anniversary in the U.S.

Pearle Vision operated 513 locations overall (a mix of 63 corporate locations and 450 franchised locations). In January of 2023, Pearle was ranked the number one eyecare and eyewear brand and number 38 overall franchise in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 for its outstanding performance in areas including unit growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power. It marks the 14th consecutive year that Pearle Vision has been ranked in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 and the fourth consecutive year leading the eyewear/eyewear category.

Target Optical (562 locations) saw its sales rise to a VM-estimated $466.5 million. There were 14 new Target Optical locations opened in the calendar year. In February this year, EssilorLuxottica extended its relationship with Target Stores, renewing its license in a multi-year partnership.

For Eyes (108 locations) which was formerly part of GrandVision USA (GrandVision was acquired by EssilorLuxottica) is now part of the U.S. retail group and their U.S locations and VM sales estimates are included in the overall U.S. retail group numbers for calendar year 2022.

Additional brand retail units for Oliver Peoples (25 locations), Persol (2 locations, Ray-Ban (29 locations), OSA (3 locations) and Alain Mikli (1) round out the Luxottica Retail U.S. business.

EssilorLuxotica N.A. created a management services organization to invest in practice transitions. Referred to internally as “TeamVision,” the MSO assumes non-medical responsibilities of the practice, including product, inventory, staffing and marketing.

EssilorLuxottica in May 2022 announced the launch of OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation, a move which unites Vision for Life, Essilor Vision Foundations in North America, India, Southeast Asia and China, Fondazione Salmoiraghi & Viganò in Italy and the company’s long-term global partners OneSight and the Vision Impact Institute.

National Vision Holdings, Inc.
National Vision Holdings operates a diverse range of optical retail businesses in the U.S. A publicly traded company on the Nasdaq (EYE) exchange, National Vision operated 1,354 stores at the end of 2022. They include America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses (905 locations); Eyeglass World (136 locations); Vision Centers inside Walmart (230 locations); Vista Opticals in select Fred Meyer Stores (29 locations); and Vista Optical in select military exchanges (54 locations).

The company’s Corporate/Other segment includes the results of the e-commerce platform of 15 dedicated websites managed by AC Lens.

Its e-commerce business consists of six proprietary branded websites, including, and, and nine third-party websites with established retailers, such as Walmart, Sam’s Club and Giant Eagle as well as mid-sized vision insurance providers.

The company cited macroeconomic headwinds—especially impacting its core customers at its value-focused locations along with constraints to exam capacity as factors in slower sales for the fourth quarter and year-end. However the company also opened 80 new stores for the year (23 in Q4) as it invested in its America’s Best and Eyeglass World retail brands.

In addition, remote medicine and electronic health records were enabled in about 300 stores, an initiative which will continue into this year, executives said.

The company said it intends to continue to invest in digitization of its stores and corporate offices, emphasized its investments in its labs and the expansion of virtual try-on.

The company continued to support ESG initiatives and support of initiatives to advance access to eyecare. NVI released its 2021 Sustainability Report, “A World Worth Seeing,” reflecting progress made in its environmental, social and governance (ESG) journey.

This builds on the company’s 2019 Philanthropic Impact Report and 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report. In 2022, National Vision expanded disclosure of its impacts on a variety of its stakeholders which aligns with the company’s “SEE+G” framework to focus activities and reporting within four key pillars—Social, Employees, Environment and Governance.

In its optical business, the number of departments at Walmart and Sam’s Clubs remained steady at 3,422 locations compared to 2021, although the company continued to rank No. 4 in the VM Top 50 Optical Retailers report.

Estimated sales of Walmart’s 2,875 vision centers for 2022 were $1,700.0 million. The Sam’s Clubs with optical departments also remained stable in terms of units (547) while VM estimated sales grew to $180 million for the calendar year.

Walmart’s own vision centers have introduced some proprietary brands to its mix this year. And last fall, the company announced it would be adding over the counter (OTC) hearing aids to the mix of products at Walmart Vision Centers and on, at first in certain states and then by the end of November via a national rollout. Sam’s Club Hearing Aid centers would follow.

The moves followed the Aug. 16 ruling by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) enabling consumers who are 18 years and older with perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment to purchase hearing aids directly from stores or online retailers without the need for a medical exam, prescription or a fitting adjustment by an audiologist.

More recently, in an announcement in early June this year, Walmart said it would be investing in the careers, training and in some cases, licensing, for 4,000 opticians and 3,700 pharmacists In an announcement and corresponding corporate Walmart blog post co-written by David Reitnauer, vice president, Walmart Health & Wellness, optical, and Kevin Host, senior vice president, Walmart Health & Wellness, pharmacy, the executives noted, “As our Health & Wellness business continues to grow, we’re serious about being an employer of choice for the talented individuals in these fields. That’s why we’re proud to invest in pay raises for thousands of pharmacists and opticians in stores across the country.”

The company also will be launching a new Optician Development program to help its vision associates access higher-paying roles and more career opportunities by obtaining nationally-recognized certification and licensure from ABO/NCLE, paid for by Walmart.

(Separately, National Vision Holdings (NVI) operates 230 Walmart Vision centers but those numbers are not included in VM’s Walmart estimates here, but they are included in NVI’s reported numbers and the NVI Walmart vision units are put together with Walmart’s own optical departments in the Top 50’s Mass Merchant and Wholesale Club rankings on page 28.)

EyeCare Partners

The calendar year 2022 was another busy one for EyeCare Partners (ECP), a leading network of integrated ophthalmology and optometry providers, with the addition of more than 25 sites of service to its organization. In 2022, ECP finished the year with 700 optometry and ophthalmology locations and optical sales coming in at $1.665 billion.

ECP operates with more than 1,000 providers (300 ophthalmologists and 700 optometrists) across the country. The more than 700 ECP-affiliated practice locations provide services that span the eyecare continuum in 18 states and 30 markets.

According to EyeCare Partners executives, “A big achievement in 2022 was the launch of the EyeCare Partners Innovation Center. The Center is focused on advancing eyecare and promoting an organization-wide culture of collaborative innovation. Under the leadership of Dr. Tony Capone, the Innovation Center is focused on quality, research, and education. We are also offering doctors opportunities to pursue research alongside their clinical practice.”

“With more than 1,000 providers across the country, we have an unmatched wealth of data and expertise to draw upon,” EyeCare Partners’ CEO David Clark told VM back in April. “Our goal is to put our data to work and leverage our collective expertise to improve patient outcomes, advanced patient care, and drive sight-saving advances in research.”

In early 2022, ECP completed its acquisition of Retina Associates of Kentucky, one of the largest independent vitreoretinal physician practices in the central U.S. ECP also entered into an agreement to partner with Sabates Eye Centers, one of Kansas City’s largest multi-specialty eyecare practices. Also in January 2022, ECP announced an agreement to partner with Michigan-based Huron Ophthalmology. Then in February 2022, ECP announced an agreement to partner with Lakeland Eye Clinic and Central Florida SurgiCenter.

ECP operated under six optical retail trade names in 2022, including Clarkson Eyecare, Nationwide Vision, EyeCare Associates, eyecarecenter, The EyeDoctors Optometrists, and Grene Vision Group.

Looking ahead, ECP executives told VM, “We are organically expanding including new clinics, ASCs, and de novo practices to expand access to high quality eyecare to patients across the country.” EyeCare Partners is backed by the global investment firm Partners Group.

Costco Optical
A part of Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: COST), Costco Optical finished the year with 555 optical departments, an increase of 12 locations compared to 2021 and a healthy 8 percent sales increase to $1,515.3 million for the year. It retained the number six position on VM’s Top 50 ranking.

Costco Wholesale is a worldwide business. The company reported for its fiscal year ending Aug. 2022, that it operated 578 warehouses in the U.S. and Canada.

Costco Optical did start offering remote or teleoptometry exams prior to 2022 and intends to expand those efforts in 2023.

Capital Vision Services/MyEyeDr.
MyEyeDr. added new locations in 2022, bringing its total location count to 852 offices. The year, executives told VM in April, was a “purposefully slower acquisition year, as we focused much of our time on integrating the record number of offices that joined MyEyeDr. in 2021. In 2021, we partnered with 165 locations, many of which joined us near the end of the year, so we focused our efforts in early 2022 on transitioning these offices onto our platform-wide systems and processes to maximize our support of each new office.”

Executives also noted, “Additionally, given our relationship with Goldman Sachs, (which invested in 2019 in Capital Vision Services, MyEyeDr.’s management services organization), in 2019, we anticipated the economic evolution to the current environment and decided to align our partnership expectations with the changing economy.”

MyEyeDr. co-founder and CEO, Sue Downes, said, “We are continuing to expand in 2023 and are searching for the right partnership opportunities that align with our growth mindset. We have continued outreach to the doctor community, but are also taking a very measured approach in evaluating potential new offices to ensure it is a high quality fit for both the owner doctor and MyEyeDr.”

Downes also told VM, that MyEyeDr. has a variety of expansion plans “beyond acquiring practices.” These would include, per Downes, “Opening offices from scratch in markets where we want to have a presence, but have yet to find the right partnership opportunities. We are investing in omnichannel capabilities to further our ability to meet patients when, where and how they prefer to purchase their vision care products.”

She said, “Expanded services and supplementary products such as dry eye services and products, myopia management offerings, specialty contacts, readers, and more are a growth opportunity to serve patients in new ways, too. Moreover, we continually evolve our systems to automate tasks and processes and enable us to scale rapidly while maintaining and improving our patient, associate staff and doctor experience.

“Examples include automating patient eligibility, claim RPA tools, and personalized recall to enhance our patient experience. We consistently adapt and tweak our tele-optometry strategy to meet the needs of our doctors and satisfy patient demand and we see this solution as a way to help solve patient access issues,” Downes concluded.

Visionworks of America, Inc.

Visionworks of America has unified its stores across the U.S. under the Visionworks name. It closed the year with 745 locations and revenues of $1,130.0 million placing it eighth on VM’s Top 50 this year. The company also opened 32 new locations in calendar year 2022. VSP Global, rebranded VSP Vision in 2022, acquired Visionworks in October 2019.

Greg Hare was named president of Visionworks in 2022. During the course of the year, Visionworks completed a “full fleet rollout” of new POS and EHR systems, the company told VM.

This year, the company anticipates opening an additional 35 new locations, as well as bringing some cosmetic and refurbishment improvements to impact more than 20 percent of its stores.

Visionworks had started to employ some remote exam/teleoptometry technology in its group prior to 2022 and said it expects to expand that this year.

Visionworks has also been taking a new approach with its brand marketing. This year, in May (Healthy Vision Month), the company cited a study conducted by VSP vision Care and market research agency YouGov, showing that nearly 97 percent of respondents agree that having healthy eyes is important, but only 50 percent take action and get annual eye exams. To emphasize the value of comprehensive vision exams, Visionworks launched a new ad campaign called “Subtitles,” by Visionworks, presented as foreign-language films which require subtitles to follow along with the action-packed scenes. Throughout the commercials, the font size of the subtitles progressively become smaller.

Eventually, it is revealed the audience has been taking, and possibly failing, a test of their vision the whole time and the mock vision test highlighted the discrepancy between what the viewer ultimately sees and what they would potentially see with 20/20 vision. A QR code at the end of the spot links back to to encourage them to book an eye exam. The campaign ran on linear TV, CTV and social as well as movie theaters in 17 markets.

Warby Parker
The opening of two new stores in New York prior to the 2022 Christmas holiday brought Warby Parker’s total retail locations to 200, including 40 new locations in 2022, surpassing its achievement of 35 new stores in 2021. In addition to its U.S. stores, the company continues to operate several locations in Canada. Overall, Warby Parker (NYSE: WRBY) reported total sales for the calendar year ending 2022 of $598.1 million. Forty percent of optical sales dollars in 2022 came from online orders.

In 2010, Warby Parker launched its “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” program, which distributes a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair of glasses or sunglasses sold. In 2022, Warby Parker reached more than 13 million pairs of glasses distributed globally through the program. Additionally, for the first time in the history of the program, Warby Parker expanded efforts to Europe, as the company partnered with RestoringVision to distribute 100,000 pairs of glasses to those impacted by the war in Ukraine.

After two years of research and testing, Warby Parker launched a demo lens recycling program in partnership with specialty materials company Eastman Chemical in the first quarter of 2022. Through this program, discarded demo lenses from Warby Parker’s two optical labs are broken down to the molecular level and then used as feedstock in place of fossil fuels to produce new materials that are indistinguishable from their counterparts, preserving natural resources in the process. In 2022 alone, Warby Parker said, it saved 20,000 pounds of single-use plastic from landfill.

In 2015, Warby Parker created Pupils Project, a program that works with local organizations and government agencies to provide free vision screenings, eye exams, and glasses to schoolchildren. In 2022, the company expanded this program to new school districts and cities across California and Pennsylvania, resumed a small-scale pilot in Boston, and celebrated reaching 10,000 pairs of glasses distributed in Baltimore.

In 2022, Pupils Project distributed more than 50,000 pairs of glasses to students across New York City, Baltimore, Pennsylvania, California and Washington, D.C.—the most Warby Parker has provided through the program in one year to date.

“In addition to expanding our product offering to create a one-stop shop for customers interested in buying sunglasses, contacts and more, we’ve also introduced services like comprehensive eye exams and in-house technologies like Virtual Vision Test and Virtual Try-On that enhance the overall shopping experience. We’re also expanding vision services—by the end of 2022, three quarters of our stores (150 total) offered eye exams.”

Warby reported that net loss for 2022 decreased $33.9 million to $110.4 million, primarily as a result of the increase in gross profit and the decrease in SG&A.

Keplr Vision
Keplr Vision, backed by Imperial Capital, operated 284 offices at the end of 2022, with revenues of $455 million. In August 2022, the group named Tim Mayhew as its new CEO. Mayhew, most recently CEO of Luxury Optical Holdings, has 15 years of experience within the optical industry.

In March of 2023, the group announced that it had successfully closed $80 million in additional funding from existing investors including Imperial Capital and Golub. Details of the transaction were not disclosed. “We are extremely excited to announce this increased level of confidence and commitment from our investors,” said Mayhew.

“Despite an extremely challenging time for capital markets, they recognized Keplr Vision’s amazing potential as a partner with many of the largest, most prestigious practices in the United States. With this stronger financial position we will be able to accelerate our investments into new doctor equipment, real estate, and our IT infrastructure, furthering our mission to be the best place to work as an optometrist at any point in their career—from new graduate, to practicing at the full scope of their license, to seeking a transition of their practice,” Mayhew said.

With that announcement, Keplr Vision said it also reorganized its field operations team, with David Cockrell, OD, named as the new division president – East; Jon Christiansen, OD, being named as the new division president – West; and Tim Westra being named as the new division president – Comprehensive.

This new structure will center Keplr Vision’s focus on maintaining and enhancing each of our partner practice’s culture, community involvement and scope of services,” said Mayhew.

Further, Keplr said it had expanded its board of directors. The new appointments include: Mark Weikel, former president and CEO of Luxottica Retail North America, now on the boards of several companies, including Tractor Supply Company and others; Brent Kugman, a veteran of numerous C-level positions across a range of companies and industries including Eddie Bauer Holdings; and Jim McGrann, former CEO of Professional Eye Care Associates of American (PECAA) and VSP Global and current president and COO of Percept Corporation.