VSP Global announced the intent to open three brick-and-mortar Eyeconic locations as well as the launch of VSP Ventures, a new business unit designed to offer doctors looking to transition their practices an alternative to private equity.
“Benefits managers are demanding more substantial retail options and doctors have been asking VSP to create a doctor-centric alternative to private equity. It’s critical for VSP to ensure this evolving landscape serves both our members and VSP network doctors in mutually beneficial ways,” says Michael Guyette, president and CEO of VSP Global. “A well-defined network strategy, which includes retail, allows us to provide a variety of options for doctors at every career stage and in every kind of practice setting—from privately owned, to dispensary-managed, to VSP-owned and operated.”
According to a statement released by VSP, VSP Ventures will facilitate practice transitions for doctors looking to retire or evolve to a different model. Additional details will be announced soon.
VSP Global also plans to open three Eyeconic stores in the Chicago market throughout 2019. The stores will be an extension of VSP’s ecommerce site, eyeconic.com. The stores will products, services, and a VSP network doctor to a customer base that is otherwise choosing mass or specialty retail, the company says.
Click here watch a video from VSP President and CEO Michael Guyette regarding these announcements.
“In collaboration with our innovation lab, The Shop, we’ve identified a unique, uncommitted customer who seeks a differentiated eye care and eyewear-buying experience,” says Bill Vaughan, president of VSP Retail. “In partnership with a doctor of optometry, Eyeconic is well-positioned to meet changing customer requirements by creating a digital and physical brand environment based on personalization, choice, and well-being.”
Each store will be wholly owned and operated by VSP with a sublease model for VSP network doctors. Market selection was strategically focused on regions that have shown high numbers of out-of-network claims at optical chains and mass retailers.
“Our goal is to create more opportunities for doctors,” says Guyette. “Without a strategic retail footprint, we risk closing the door on key clients, as well as the 20% of consumers who are choosing retail and even online-based eyewear stores over private practice. This is about smart growth that allows VSP to win more contracts and, in turn, more patients to drive into Premier Program practices.”
Details and exact locations of the Eyeconic concept stores will be announced in the coming months.
Those interested in learning more about VSP’s strategic retail announcements, including Eyeconic and VSP Ventures, can visit www.JustTheFactsVSP.com.