How Are We to Think About Consolidation and Restructuring in the Vision Space..?

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Whatever happened to lazy summer days? The past few months has seen a continuation of a series of practice acquisitions, large and small, by private equity-backed groups, the expansion of new players in the franchise space, and further industry consolidations here and around the world as evidenced by EssilorLuxottica’s announcement of their plans to acquire GrandVision group, the major global optical retailer.

Brands, suppliers and retailers outside of optical, along with others in the health care and pharmacy sectors, omnichannel and social media platforms, are also roiling with change.

Layer in trade and tariff concerns, climate change (earthquakes, torrential rains and drought) plus a pending presidential election and we’re living in a cultural and political atmosphere where everything in the world seems to be off its axis. (I’m tired just typing all that!)

No one likes it when things shift too much and, while we might’ve been able to see this wave coming toward us, it feels different when you’re in the middle of dozens of things washing over you. Is there ‘advice’ here..? First, take a deep breath, and if you can, cut the cord, take some time out and recharge your batteries—without any batteries or ‘connected’ devices, in fact. It helps.

Second, take time with your teams and colleagues and plan sessions to share common concerns and look at opportunities. Eliminate low level distractions. Prioritize.

Third, remind yourself of your focus, what you want to concentrate on and what you don’t have time for.

Keep your best associates and best customers close and top of mind. Pay attention to them; remember their priorities to help you focus your own at your business. Not everything is changing, even though it seems like it is.

We’re all participating in a field that’s critically important, connected to improving people’s lives and living productively. It’s technology, it’s fashion, it’s health care, it’s retail. Let’s keep our own eyes on the future. 2020 is around the corner—and that’s a big milestone opportunity for anyone in the vision care field.

maxelrad@jobson.com