Web Watch, License Lineup, On the Town


Hot List: December 2012

Alicia Hoglund

1 Santa’s New Helpers

According to Deloitte’s annual holiday survey,

68 percent of smartphone owners plan to use their devices for this year’s holiday shopping.

48 percent of shoppers plan to use social media as part of the holiday shopping process.

71 percent of shoppers are more likely to shop from online retailers who offer free shipping.

38 percent of consumers expect store associates to have the ability to match prices.


A recent survey conducted by management consulting firm Hay Group revealed that 75 percent of retail leaders expect higher sales this holiday season than last year.

3 Cyber Sales

Digital marketing, media, and commerce expert eMarketer revealed the following about this year’s web sales.

$54 Billion
Online shoppers in the U.S. are expected to spend $54.47 billion this holiday season.

24.3 percent
Online sales will account for nearly one quarter of all U.S. retail spending during the holiday season.

4 Stockinocking Stufi

The National Retail Federation revealed the most popular gifts that shoppers will splurge on this holiday season:

Clothing and accessories 59.7%
Gift cards 59.2%
Toys 45.1%
Electronics 31.7%
Jewelry 22.5%

World Sight Day Challenge a Success

More than 500 doctors, staff, and practices participated in Optometry Giving Sight’s 2012 World Sight Day challenge, with many others participating through their workplace and team fundraising. Charitable events ran the gamut from races, bake sales, raffles, and personal and company-wide donations, while others performed free eye exams or donated a portion of sales and services.

Many large optical companies showed their support via various fundraising activities, including CooperVision, A&A Optical, REM Eyewear, Alcon, Optos, Primary Eyecare Network, TLC Laser Vision Centers, Essilor, and Transitions Optical. In addition, optometry students also showed their support, with all of the Colleges of Optometry in North America participating in the Student Challenge.

OGS has yet to release total amount raised this year. However, organization representatives note that thanks to the support OGS received through the challenge, it will be able to fulfill its commitment to fund 42 projects in 24 countries this year, two of which are in the U.S.


1. In honor of World Sight Day, Transitions Optical, Inc., created a 176,750-picture mosaic, which set a new Guiness World Record for the World’s Largest Photo Mosaic; 2. The staff members at Missouri-based Springfield Eye Clinic prepared for the clinic’s World Sight Day Challenge 5K Run; 3. A&A Optical pledged $5 for each Jalapeños case design photo submitted in celebration of the World Sight Day Challenge; 4. Salus University students showed off their World Sight Day Student Challenge shirts

HOYA, Seiko Reach Agreement

HOYA Corp. has executed an agreement with Seiko Epson Corporation on the transfer of Epson’s eyeglass lens development and manufacturing to HOYA. The transfer will take place February 1, 2013.

Additionally, HOYA executed an agreement with Seiko Holdings Corp. on the partial ownership of Seiko Optical Products, Co., Ltd. (a wholly owned subsidiary), to form a strategic alliance in marketing and distribution to promote eyewear and related products globally. HOYA will acquire 30 percent share of Seiko Optical Products on February 1 and an additional 20 percent on March 31, 2014.

According to a HOYA Corp. statement, the acquisition “will commit to improve the satisfaction of our consumers and customers throughout the world by enlarging the range of products as well as our services.”

The two corporations had announced in April that they had entered into basic agreements regarding an alliance about the sales of eyewear products.

Luxottica to Acquire Alain Mikli

Luxottica Group S.p.A. has entered into an exclusivity agreement with Alain Miklitarian and NEO Capital to acquire 100 percent of Alain Mikli International.

Founded in 1978, the French brand’s design aesthetic would significantly strengthen Luxottica’s luxury portfolio, company representatives note. The contemplated acquisition remains subject to discussion, and a timetable for the completion of the agreement has not been given.

Read the full interview and learn more about VSP Optics’ otto app at

Optical APPtitude

Nobody can appreciate an optician’s needs better than a fellow optician. That’s the theme behind the creation of otto (One Touch To Optical), the newest app from VSP Optics.

Chelsy Pham, ABOC, an optician and product and technology consultant with VSP Optics Group, is one of the inventors of otto, an iPad app that serves as a measurement tool and virtual assistant. It has modules that streamline patient check-in, benefit authorization, and order status; perform pre-exam vision screening; calculate patient measurements via a photo image; aid in lens product consultation; help in frame selection; educate patients on lens packages and customization; and confirm and process orders.

The idea for otto originated when Warren Meyer, Sr., vice president of the VSPOne Optical Technology Centers, sent Pham on a mission to create a measurement tool. She was already using an iPad in the dispensary to demonstrate contact lens prices, and she thought of marrying the two technologies to create a measuring tool and dispensing aid. Pham worked on the project with Dave Heglund and Mike Mangelson.

“I think what sets otto apart is that it helps enhance the skill sets of the dispensing optician,” she says. “It makes the dispensary experience more personal, streamlined, and professional. The patient is also more involved in the process, which is always a good thing for purchase decisions.”


Chelsy Pham, ABOC, demonstrates Otto

Pham has worked for VSP in various capacities since 1995. She’s been an optician since 2007, originally working in her family’s practice and now filling in when needed at VSP dispensaries.

Since creating otto (officially launching this month), Pham says she’s gotten positive feedback from fellow opticians.

“Our experiences are shared. Recommending a product that isn’t available or miscalculating patient fees are mistakes that all opticians make at some point,” she says. “Otto is a tool that will help eliminate a lot of those issues, so opticians can spend more time focusing on the patient.”


The Industry Rallies for Hurricane Sandy Victims

In late October, Hurricane Sandy rocked the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, and other portions of the country, leaving millions without electricity and heat, and some without shelter. In response, the optical industry has rallied to help aid Sandy victims through donations and other volunteer efforts. Here are just a few of the contributions made by those in the industry.

Safilo USA is collecting donations in the South Jersey area and has partnered with UPS to deliver the donated goods via the Township of Neptune’s Office of Emergency Management. It is also working with Jersey Cares to collect coats for those in need.

In addition to pledging $25,000 to the relief efforts, Essilor of America has donated eyewear jobs to affected customers through key ECPs. Essilor labs have also held food and clothing drives to collect needed items.

Zyloware has set up bins at its office to help collect items for local relief centers. A&A Optical’s corporate office is collecting personal care items and frames for victims and is working with Staten Eye Land on its Operation Sandy Eyes, an initiative to provide hurricane victims with replacement eyewear.

In addition to collecting gently worn eyewear, Selima Optique has donated 10 percent of all sales from the first 10 days after reopening its four New York City locations to benefit various local organizations. Connecticut-based Alain Mikli put together care kits filled with supplies, clothing, toiletries, etc., for local residents whose homes were demolished in the storm. Employees from Viva International Group’s New Jersey headquarters prepared care packages with supplies donated by HVHC Inc.

Others have partnered with the American Red Cross (ARC). Nassau/Nova/OOGP set up a donating center to collect items for victims. Seiko Optical, The North American Transitions Optical team, Altair Eyewear, and Marchon’s license partners Lacoste, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Michael Kors have all made donations to ARC. Other Marchon brands have participated in CFDA Fashion for Sandy Relief. Santinelli International donated $500 for every lens edger sold throughout November to ARC and collected non-perishable items and other donations for Island Harvest.

Shwood has created the Shwood Recovery Initiative with the release of a limited edition Canby in Santos Mahogany. All proceeds from the frame will be donated to the ARC to aid those affected by Hurricane Sandy ( Through the ARC, Bausch + Lomb has set up a donation website for its employees and has pledged to match all donations made.

VSP Global is pledging up to $1 million in products, services, and additional aid to assist those affected by Hurricane Sandy, including replacement and discounted products and displays as well as deploying the VSP Mobile Clinics and portable ophthalmic equipment to practices that are not operable and distributing gift certificates redeemable for eyecare services for non-VSP members through the American Red Cross.


A Viva International Group team member prepares a care package

Other companies have also come to the rescue. Long Island, NY-based ClearVision Optical, Inc., which restored operations 48 hours after the storm through the perseverance of its employees, has donated to the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. B. Robinson and Legacie will be making a company contribution to the Empire State Relief Fund, an organization providing funding, materials, and services to help New Yorkers rebuild and restore their homes.

Luxottica’s OneSight “EyeLeen” Vision Van visited Oceanport, NJ, providing vision screenings, eye exams, new eyewear, and Oakley sunglasses to Hurricane victims housed at a Red Cross shelter. Luxottica will also be donating product to victims affected by the storm.

Carl Zeiss Vision has set up a no-charge service code for Sandy victims at three of its labs—CZV Northeast (Boston area), CZV Great Lakes (Troy, MI) and CZV Virginia (Chester, VA).



Left, ClearVision Optical has transformed its successful enewsletter into the ClearNation Exchange blog (; Right, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care debuted a new site for ECPs

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.’s new website,, features a contact lens finder that includes the full line of ACUVUE Brand contact lenses as well as products from other major manufacturers, helping ECPs to quickly select the right contact lens for their patients.

ClearVision Optical has debuted its new blog, ClearNation Exchange, offering ECPs insights into the company’s product and design inspirations as well as details on trends and materials related to each product release and an image gallery of portfolio.

Luxottica Issues Letter in Response to “60 Minutes” Segment

Luxottica’s president, wholesale North America, Andrea Dorigo has issued a letter to customers following the company’s inclusion in “Sticker Shock,” a segment of CBS’ news program “60 Minutes” that aired on October 7.

In his letter, Dorigo expressed his disappointment over the negative attention the segment drew to Luxottica and the industry, which he notes “portrayed Luxottica as well as the optical industry in an unfavorable light by misrepresenting or omitting some important aspects of what we do every day.”

Dorigo also addressed the main points made in the segment—that the industry is controlled by a monopoly, that eyewear is overpriced, and that Luxottica takes advantage of this situation—to make clear to customers where Luxottica stands on the issues that were raised.

He concludes, “I would like to reiterate our single minded commitment to provide you, as an eyecare professional and as a customer, the best quality eyewear and the best-selling brands. This is what we know best and it’s what we will continue doing every day.”

STAR Gazers


Mondottica Group and Anna Sui Corporation have signed a license agreement extension for eyewear under the Anna Sui brand. The extension covers worldwide distribution, except for Japan, until June of 2026.

Carl Zeiss Vision and Vision-Ease Lens have entered into a royalty-bearing agreement under which Carl Zeiss has licensed its patented technology to Vision-Ease, including certain types of back-surface free-form progressive lenses and processes by which they are made.


1. “The Dark Knight Rises” actress Marion Cotillard hit the red carpet wearing Persol Capri Edition style PO3025S shades by Luxottica;


2. “Mad Men” actor Sam Page was all smiles in Carrera style 6000 sunglasses by Safilo;


3. Singer Kelly Clarkson blew a kiss to the camera while wearing Maui Jim’s Cliff House sunglasses;


4. Singer Madonna was spotted in Paris wearing Salvatore Ferragamo sunglass style SF600S by Marchon

On the Town

Maui Jim was backstage at the 46th Annual Country Music Awards last month handing out gift bags and fitting some of country music’s biggest stars in the latest Maui Jim eyewear, including Brantley Gilbert, Kellie Pickler, Reba McEntire, and many others.

Marchon, along with Swarovski and Judith Leiber, was a sponsor of the Accessories Council’s 16th annual Ace Awards, which was held last month at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. Among the night’s winners, Calvin Klein’s three designers Francisco Costa, Italo Zucchelli, and Ulrich Grimm took home the Designer of the Year award, which was presented by actress Julianne Moore.

WestGroupe held a press reception in Toronto to roll out the company’s special capsule collection edited by fashion commentator and blogger, Jeanne Beker, to benefit Dress for Success. The launch will be supported by events across Canada.


1. Maui Jim Team members pose with Zac Brown of the Zac Brown Band; 2. Brantley Gilbert samples a pair of Maui Jim Stingray sunglasses at the Country Music Awards; 3. Canadian fashion commentator and blogger Jeanne Beker shows off one of the pieces selected for her capsule collection for Fysh UK; 4. The WestGroupe team celebrates the launch of the new capsule collection benefitting Dress for Success; 5. Pierre Bessez and Tom Murray, CEO, Calvin Klein, at the 16th annual Ace Awards; 6. (l to r) Calvin Klein’s Italo Zucchelli, Francisco Costa, and Ulrich Grimm with Julianne Moore

Test Your Mettle!

We feature one question each month for optometrists from a previous Varilux Optometry Super Bowl and one for opticians from a National Federation of Opticianry Schools College Bowl.
Thanks to Essilor and NFOS for providing this month’s questions and answers.

Q. What is the treatment for benign essential blepharospasm?

Q. Prism thinning is used to reduce the thickness of PALs in the top portion of the lens. The common amount of prism thinning applied is equal to what amount of the lens’ ADD power?

For the answers, go to FYI on page 67

Registration Open for opti 2013

Registration is now open for Opti 2013, the international trade show for optics and design. The show, which will be held Jan. 25 to 27, 2013 at the Fairground Messe München in Munich, Germany, will feature more than 450 exhibitors showcasing the latest trends, innovations, and products for the coming year.

The 2013 show will also see the debut of the Italian Pavilion. Organized by the Italian Optics Association, the pavilion will host 11 Italian companies, including Demenego, G.B., Lara D, Lastes group, Luxol, Martini occhiali, Matinèe, Pinoptik, Revert, Thema Optical, and Trevi Coliseum.

For more information about the show, or to register, visit