DALLAS— Essilor of America announced yesterday that it will host four independent eyecare professional forums in October. The invitation-only “Optometry2020” gatherings are designed to discuss the state of the industry and to hear from optometrists about their business, as well as challenges and opportunities that they face and anticipate in an evolving independent optometric industry.

As a prelude to the forums, Essilor hosted a group of ECPs at Vision Expo West, to provide an industry overview and generate conversations with independent optometrists. The four new forums—one of which will be available via simulcast—will be held in other markets nationwide. Details about how to participate in the simulcast forum will be provided in coming weeks.

“Increasingly, we know that it’s imperative to understand the bigger picture of the optometric industry in this country,” stated Howard Purcell, OD and vice president of customer development, Essilor of America. “We have a vested interest in gaining insight into the changing dynamics of the industry, and we believe the time is now to generate conversations with the doctors who are on the frontline of these changes. We had some terrific conversations about these topics at VEW, and we look forward to hearing more from ECPs.”

At Essilor’s request, Tim Jankowski, OD, immediate past chair of VSP Global will join as a special guest at the forums, presenting highlights and answering questions about his company’s Bain & Company study that concluded the independent optometry industry faces major challenges, including competition from large national retail chains, increased consumer adoption of online purchases and desire for greater price transparency; and a shift from the personalized shopping experience toward a more efficient retail environment.

At the completion of the forums, Essilor will share a compilation of findings generated through discussions and input from ECPs nationwide.