How VM’s Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers List Is Compiled

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The VM Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers report ranks the 50 leading companies in optical retailing, based on their revenue in the 2011 calendar year.

The VM Top 50 report is based on a survey of all major U.S. optical retailers and includes information reported directly by chains and independent retailers and practitioners, interviews with company executives, published corporate documents and knowledgeable secondary sources. Access to a detailed questionnaire was placed on VM’s website ( visionmonday.com) and made available through VM’s electronic newsletter, VMail.

The questionnaire was also sent directly to leading U.S. optical retailers and eyecare practices. In addition, retailers and practices were contacted by telephone to follow up on the questionnaire.

In cases where corporate policy prevented companies from reporting retail volume or other information, various methods were used to reach accurate estimates for them. The history of each business was carefully analyzed, and the most knowledgeable and relevant secondary sources were consulted. To determine these estimates, averages pertinent to the geographic and market situation of each retailer or practice were also developed to fit its store or office types.

U.S. sales figures for the VM Top 50 include revenues from both company-owned and franchised locations (if applicable), managed vision care revenues and shares of doctors’ or laser surgery fees. In short, U.S. sales represent all revenue a company derives from optical products and services in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. It is also important to keep in mind that sales given on the VM Top 50 list reflect annual net sales for 2011, which may differ widely from retailers’ comparable-store sales for the same year.

The VM Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers list published in the May 2012 issue of Vision Monday also shows aggregate sales and unit totals for 2010 that are different than those published in May 2011, since companies on the list change from year to year due to industry consolidation or other factors.

If sales for two companies have been reported or estimated at the same amount, the one with the smaller number of locations is ranked higher, reflecting its higher sales per unit in 2011. For those companies with the same sales volume and the same number of locations, they are listed alphabetically. In cases where one retailer acquired another during the calendar year, the acquired company is listed separately if the acquisition took place during the fourth quarter, since sales earlier in the year are not attributed to the acquiring firm. When an acquisition occurs before the fourth quarter, the acquired retailer’s sales are combined with those of the acquiring company.