NEW YORK—The expansion and growth in terms of locations and estimated sales among the U.S.’s largest retail optical groups and companies has been relatively consistent ever since Vision Monday started tracking them. Particularly in the last 10 years, it’s the composition of the players within the ranking and report that have been notable for the types of businesses involved and the reasons behind the movement in the rankings.

Consolidation has always played a significant role in the character of the companies in the VM Top 50 but in the recent decade, the consolidation has been spurred not just by organic growth and occasional acquisitions but a steady pace of expansion via the add-on of many independent practices and regional groups.

By the numbers, 10 years of VM’s tracking reflect consistent percentage increases year over year. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 abruptly broke that progress. By the end of 2021, though, things came back strong, with a hard-fought 21 percent gain for the Top 50 for the big climb back.

In 2022, the VM Top 50 reached a collective estimated $18,696.9 million for the 50 retailers, a 4 percent gain over the prior year. n