VSP, EssilorLuxottica Move Further Into Corporate Retail

Two of optical’s biggest players are moving deeper into the corporate optometry landscape.

In June, VSP Global announced an agreement to acquire Visionworks, the sixth-largest optical chain in the country with 700+ locations in 40 states. VSP executives touted the move as one that will improve services to members.

In July, EssilorLuxottica reached an agreement to acquire GrandVision, N.V., with 7,200 global locations. In the U.S., its largest corporate retail banner is For Eyes. After closing, the GrandVision organization will operate EssilorLuxottica’s retail activities in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, while the EssilorLuxottica organization will run the retail networks in the Americas. —Susan Tarrant


From the bankruptcy of the Shopko department store chain comes Shopko Optical, which has already opened about two dozen free-standing optical locations with the goal of launching a total of 80. Shopko Optical named former Visionworks head Jim Eisen as interim CEO to help the company through its transition.

The Daily Trend

Are you moving your contact lens patients over to daily replacement lenses? Many of your peers are. A study by CooperVision revealed 79% of U.S. ECPs surveyed are refitting their frequent wearers to one-day contact lenses, and feel it’s a trend that will continue.

The study of ECPs and patients in Europe and the U.S. also found:

  • The ECP is driving the change: 69% of patients report they make their final lens choice based on ECP recommendation.
  • Eye health + comfort are behind the shift. In 70% of switching cases, ECPs suggested the change because of patient issues with previous contact lenses. ECPs cited general and long-term eye health, comfort, and better fit for patient lifestyle. —S.T.

Giving Globally

Eyeglass World, part of the National Vision group of optical retail brands, is rolling out a “Made Locally, Given Globally” philanthropic program. For every pair of eyewear purchased, another pair will be made at the in-store lab and donated to someone with vision impairment around the world.

Eyeglass World has been piloting the program for the past year in Michigan and Indiana, during which more than 11,000 pairs of eyeglasses were created by Eyeglass World associates to be distributed through philanthropic partnerships.

“[Customers] want to know that the company they buy from is invested in making a difference in the world,” says Jacqueline Grove, senior vice president of retail operations of Eyeglass World. —S.T.