Optical Sales Across the U.S. Bounce Back to Pre-Labor Day Holiday Levels, Per Jobson COVID-19 Practice Performance Tracker

By Staff
Wednesday, September 23, 2020 12:30 AM NEW YORK—Nationally, optical sales returned to their levels prior to the Labor Day Holiday during the most recent week for which metrics have been tracked (Sept. 14 – Sept. 20). Following substantial decreases resulting from the Labor Day holiday for the previous week tracked (Sept. 7 – Sept. 13), overall optical sales in all categories bounced back to where they had been on a national level during the week of Aug. 31 to Sept. 6. Regionally, although all four Census regions being monitored (Northeast, Midwest, West, South) had states reporting increases in cases of COVID-19 (according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker),  this had little to no impact on optical sales, according to the tracker. With every state in the West and nearly every state in the Midwest and South reporting increasing numbers of cases of COVID-19 over the past week, optical sales returned to the same level or within at least 1 or 2 index points of where they had been during the week prior to the Labor Day weekend.

Materialise Makes ‘Strategic Investment’ in Virtual Eyewear Try-On Firm Ditto as Companies Begin Collaboration

By Staff
Wednesday, September 23, 2020 12:27 AM LEUVEN, Belgium and OAKLAND, Calif. — Materialise NV  (Nasdaq:MTLS), a global leader in 3D printing solutions, has made a strategic investment in Ditto, an Oakland-based developer of virtual eyewear try-on platforms, according to an announcement earlier this week. In addition, the two companies will collaborate to advance the digital transformation in the eyewear industry and support the creation of new and personalized shopping experiences. The details of the investment by Materialise were not disclosed. The introduction of advanced digital technologies in the eyewear industry is creating new opportunities, including the possibility to offer personalized frame recommendations and virtual try-on solutions, the announcement noted.

De Rigo Group and Tumi Announce New License Agreement, Collection

By Staff
Wednesday, September 23, 2020 12:24 AM LONGARONE, Italy—The De Rigo Group and Tumi have announced an exclusive license agreement for the design, production and distribution of Tumi-branded sunglasses and prescription frames for both men and women. The Tumi eyewear collection will embody the brand’s iconic values and DNA, as well as its dedication to innovation. This collection is set to debut at Vision Expo East in 2021, prior to its global launch in May 2021. The first Tumi collection produced by De Rigo will be distributed through the De Rigo sales network, as well as select Tumi stores and eCommerce sights worldwide.

Eyemart Express Pledges $20,000 Donation for Fifth Annual Stand Up To Cancer Fundraiser

By Staff
Wednesday, September 23, 2020 12:21 AM DALLAS—Eyemart Express,  a leading national optical retailer, is kicking off its fifth annual fundraiser to benefit Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C). SU2C works to accelerate cancer research so that all cancer patients can become long-term cancer survivors. Eyemart Express will donate $5 for every pair of SU2C frames purchased through Oct. 24, with a minimum guaranteed donation of $20,000, according to an announcement this week. “We are pleased to support Stand Up To Cancer as this fundraiser is an important tradition in our stores and for the local communities that we serve,” chief executive officer Michael Bender said.

Learn More About VM’s Summit in This Special Video Message from Jobson’s Marc Ferrara

By Staff
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 12:30 AM NEW YORK—The upcoming Vision Monday Global Leadership Summit will examine the big themes and urgent questions facing ECPs and vision care decision makers in light of the pandemic which has created new challenges on so many levels. Want to learn more about #VMSUMMIT, the most important thought leadership event for our industry in 2020? Learn how it will rethink healthcare and its relationship to the eye health and retail components of the vision care industry in this exclusive video message from Jobson’s CEO Marc Ferrara and find out why this year’s Summit is the can’t miss virtual event of 2020.

Bausch Health to Acquire Option to Purchase All Ophthalmology Assets of Allegro Ophthalmics

By Staff
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 12:27 AM LAVAL, Quebec and SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif.— Bausch Health Companies and Bausch + Lomb, its leading global eye health business, and Allegro Ophthalmics LLC,  a privately held biopharmaceutical company, announced Monday that Bausch Health (through its affiliate) has entered into an agreement to acquire an option to purchase all ophthalmology assets of Allegro.

Santen to Acquire Topical Ophthalmic Products Company Eyevance for $225 Million Under Terms of Share Purchase Agreement

By Staff
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 12:24 AM OSAKA, Japan and FORT WORTH, Texas—Santen Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.and Eyevance Holdings have announced that Santen Holdings U.S. Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Santen, and Eyevance Holdings entered into a share purchase agreement where Santen Holdings acquires all of the outstanding shares of Eyevance Pharmaceuticals Holdings.

Bollé Brands Announces François Benaben as President of Sport and Luxury Division

By Staff
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 12:21 AM LYON, France—Bollé Brands has named François Benaben as the president of its sport and luxury division. Benaben, formerly vice president of the Rossignol Group for Europe, Asia and the Southern Hemisphere, has spent 14 years in several sales and category management positions at various companies.

Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA) Names New Executive and Advisory Board Officers

By Staff
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 12:15 AM MANALAPAN, N.J.—The Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association, International (NORA) announced the appointments of its new executive and advisory board members. For the executive board, DeAnn Fitzgerald, OD, assumes the position of president, succeeding Susan Daniel, OD, who now joins the NORA Advisory Board; Charles Shidlofsky, OD, FCOVD is appointed vice president; and Tanya Polec, OD, FNORA, FCOVD, joins the executive board as secretary/treasurer. Drs. Shirley Blanc and Melissa Zarn Urankar are new members of the NORA Advisory Board, joining returning members Patti Andrich, MA, OTR/L, COVT, CINPP , Shirley Ha, OD, FCOVD , and Gina Kim, MOT, OTR/L, CBIS. 

Sen. Boozman Introduces Contact Lens Rule Modernization Act that Would Eliminate Robocalls for Rx Verification

By Staff
Monday, September 21, 2020 12:36 AM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—In an effort to offset language in the FTC’s updated Contact Lens Rule, Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) last week introduced in the U.S. Senate the Contact Lens Rule Modernization Act,  which would eliminate the use of robocalls to verify contact lens prescriptions, according to a statement by the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (APS). The bill, which APS endorsed, is co-sponsored by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)

Truform Optics Expands Orthokeratology Portfolio With DreamLens Acquisition

By Staff
Monday, September 21, 2020 12:33 AM BEDFORD, Texas—TruForm Optics, a leader in specialty gas permeable contact lens design and manufacturing, has acquired the DreamLens brand from its founder, Tom Reim, OD. Details of the transaction were not announced.

Arkansas Supreme Court Denies Ballot Challenge to Scope of Practice Law

By Staff
Monday, September 21, 2020 12:30 AM LITTLE ROCK, Ark.—Optometrists in Arkansas had won the right to expand their scope of practice under a 2019 law, but these rights had been held in abeyance while an opposition group sought to have the law put to a vote in a state ballot referendum.

Premier Academy360 and the American Diabetes Association Partner to Provide No-Cost Accredited Continuing Education on Diabetes and Eye Health for VSP Network Doctors

By Staff
Monday, September 21, 2020 12:27 AM RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—As part of a larger initiative announced last November between VSP Global and the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the VSP Global Premier Program announced that it will offer an ADA-accredited virtual continuing education (CE) course to all VSP network doctors at no cost through PremierAcademy360. 

Facebook Launches Research into Future of Wearable AR

By Staff
Monday, September 21, 2020 12:21 AM MENLO PARK, Calif.—In conjunction with Facebook’s announcement last week that it is collaborating with EssilorLuxottica on the development of smart glasses, the social network unveiled Project Aria, a new research project under the direction of its Facebook Reality Labs division that will help in the development of its first generation of wearable augmented reality devices. In a post on its website, Facebook described Project Aria as “a research device that will help us understand how to build the software and hardware necessary for AR glasses.

The Jobson Optical Research 2020 U.S. Optical Retailer Report & Directory Is Now Available

By Staff
Monday, September 21, 2020 12:18 AM NEW YORK—Jobson Optical Research’s 2020 Optical Retailer Report & Directory is now available. The directory contains a comprehensive list of the top optical retailers in the U.S., including contact information for the company headquarters, key executives, buyer names for all product categories, and trade names including DBAs. The list includes 72 headquarter locations. In addition, the report and directory includes Vision Monday’s annual “Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers” ranking and analysis, which includes 2019 estimated sales and business unity counts for each retailer.