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GLENDORA, N.J.—In a recent filing  with the state of New Jersey, USV Optical Inc., which operates as U.S. Vision, said it intends to lay off 299 workers at its lab in Blackwood, N.J. The job reductions are expected to occur by the end of 2020, according to the filing. U.S. Vision's Blackwood lab in southern New Jersey had capacity to produce more than 1.6 million complete pairs of eyeglasses annually at one time. The company serves optical practices across the U.S., including as of year-end 2019 J.C. Penney (269 departments), Meijer’s Optical (61 departments), Sears Optical, Saks Optical, Boscov’s Optical (42 departments), Optical Center / AAFES Exchange (22 departments), and 20/20 Vision (one corporate-owned location), according to VM's most recent Top 50 Report.

Among the positions being cut by U.S. Vision are production, lab support and helpline workers, according to a local news report.

Officials at U.S. Vision could not be reached for comment.

U.S. Vision is the main operating company of Refac. The company in late 2019 sold its Nationwide Vision group to EyeCare Partners, as VMAIL reported, and earlier it lost a portion of business when BJ's warehouse stores moved its optical business in house.

Refac is backed by ACON Investments, a Washington, D.C.-based private equity investment firm.

The company explained its reasons in the “WARN notice” filed with the Department of Labor & Workforce Development in New Jersey as being related to the coronavirus pandemic, stating “COVID-19 restrictions and the economic downturn as many of its key customers are major retailers who are experiencing significantly reduced store hours, foot traffic and sales,” according to a news report.

No further details were available at VMAIL’s press time.