Seeking Solutions

By Mark Tosh
Monday, August 12, 2019 12:30 AM In the world of optical retailing and eyecare, the arrival of the year 2020 might be seen as the best of times for the profession. Demographics, especially an aging population, higher incidence of diseases that may impact eye health (such as diabetes), and new areas of practice focus—namely myopia and blue light protection—are opening up avenues of opportunity for eyecare professionals.

#ACHIEVERS

By Staff
Monday, July 15, 2019 12:30 AM NEW YORK—We hear the term “influencer” a lot these days. It’s frequently used to describe celebrities, media personalities or the latest YouTube stars whose words and actions are magnified through the lens of social media. They connect with millions of people, but their impact is often fleeting, as our attention shifts to the next big thing.

Remote Possibilities

By Andrew Karp
Monday, June 10, 2019 12:30 AM Many different forms of ocular telemedicine—also referred to as ocular telehealth—have emerged in the past few years. They create a dynamic but fragmented market in which different business models and service offerings compete for consumer dollars and buy-in from eyecare professionals. The proliferation of ocular telehealth options and the growing investment in the category leaves little doubt that it is gaining momentum, VM has learned for this special Megatrend report.

Stacking Up the Top 50 Optical Retailers

By Marge Axelrad and Mark Tosh
Monday, May 13, 2019 12:30 AM NEW YORK—New attitudes among consumers toward purchasing in general and the rise of digital exploration and purchasing may have upended the general retail marketplace last year with many store closures and reorgs. But as the U.S. economy held its own, the optical industry’s total sales rose just slightly and remained stable.

Megatrend: Personalization

By Staff
Monday, March 11, 2019 12:30 AM Let’s get personal. That’s what today’s patients and consumers are telling the brands and health care professionals they do business with. This means they want convenient options, of course, but it also means going the extra mile with a special fit, customized communication tools and, perhaps, even a curated assortment of options that consider their preferences and past product choices.

Social Influencers

By Jamie Wilson
Monday, February 11, 2019 12:30 AM NEW YORK—Influencer marketing has seen immense growth as social media platforms evolve, metrics become more sophisticated and brands lean toward creating more authentic connections with consumers. The continued dominance of influencers shows no signs of slowing down as a favored marketing tactic among brands both large and small.

MEGATREND: Screen Time

By Andrew Karp
Monday, January 21, 2019 12:30 AM As recently as a decade ago, a mention of digital eye strain (DES) would have most people scratching their heads. Today it’s ubiquitous, a condition of modern life. From toddlers to millennials to seniors, from city dwellers to shepherds in remote mountain villages, no one is immune from DES and its effects, which include dry, irritated eyes, blurred vision and assorted aches and pains. More than half of American adults suffer adverse effects from overexposure to screens, according to The Vision Council, which coined the term digital eye strain.

Power in Numbers

By Mark Tosh
Monday, October 22, 2018 12:15 AM From Fitbit-type performance metrics to likes on Instagram and Facebook, Americans are infatuated with checking their status and/or tracking progress across various activities. While this tracking trend may be more common across personal activities, it’s becoming fairly standard in professional dealings, as well, to measure all kinds of performance. As the adage goes, you can’t manage what you can’t measure.

Rx for Success

By Andrew Karp and Jeff Hopkins
Monday, September 17, 2018 12:30 AM NEW YORK—In today’s ultra-competitive service economy, the pressure to deliver products and services when, where and how consumers want them—the so-called “Amazon effect”—impacts all suppliers. Eyecare professionals and optical retailers are feeling the heat, and so are the labs they depend on.

Looking at the Practice Ownership Model

By Marge Axelrad and Mark Tosh
Monday, August 13, 2018 12:30 AM NEW YORK – Having the wherewithal to successfully compete as an eyecare professional and a business person can be a daunting challenge, particularly for independents.

VISIONARIES

By Staff
Monday, July 9, 2018 12:30 AM NEW YORK—VM’s Most Influential Women in Optical report is, first and foremost, our annual celebration of the immeasurable impact that women have on all levels of our industry. Just look around and you’ll find women of all ages and backgrounds who use their knowledge and skills to build and lead optical businesses and eyecare practices while enriching the lives of their customers, patients, students and colleagues.

Best in Class 2018

By Marge Axelrad
Monday, June 11, 2018 12:30 AM Today’s optometry college graduates are such a diverse and impressive group of young people. It’s a reflection of the wide range of potential avenues and specialties afforded today’s students, who are just as dedicated as many of their predecessors, motivated by a strong sense of purpose in their involvement and future practice choices.

A Fresh Picture Takes Shape

By Staff
Monday, May 14, 2018 12:30 AM NEW YORK—A reshaping of the U.S. optical industry continued among the industry's largest retail and ECP group players last year. The 2018 VM Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailer's Report exclusively assesses 2017 calendar year sales, revealing new positioning among the Top 10 players within 2018's Top 50 ranking. Editor’s Note: due to some adjustments in the number of store locations and sales revenues for certain companies for 2017, this story has been updated as of May 15.

What’s Next for ECP Alliances and Buying Groups?

By Mark Tosh
Monday, April 16, 2018 12:20 AM NEW YORK—Optical retail and vision care, like every other business today, are facing changes that are coming at a faster pace than ever, whether it’s more complex health care delivery models, new technology for eye tests and online purchasing and even outside investors with deep pockets. Everyone and every business is adjusting and rethinking their business models as they seek ways to more effectively deliver the services clients are seeking.