LinkedIn Ranks as Most-Trusted Social Media Platform in New Survey

By Staff
Sunday, September 27, 2020 1:13 PM NEW YORK—How do consumers feel about the leading social networks and how trustworthy they are in the minds of users? This is what eMarketer / Insider Intelligence attempted to find out in a recent survey asking consumers whether they believe the leading social networks do a good job protecting users’ personal information and providing a safe online environment.

According to Insider Intelligence’s annual “US Digital Trust Survey,” LinkedIn ranked as the most-trusted social platform overall. (The survey defined digital trust as the confidence users have in a social media platform to protect their information and to provide a safe environment for them to create and engage with content, according to a recent post about the survey results on the eMarketer site.

The 2020 “U.S. Digital Trust Survey” evaluated consumer perceptions of the major social networks within five categories of trust: security, legitimacy, community, ad experience, and ad relevance. The resulting ranking of the nine popular platforms — Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, reddit, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube was based on how respondents perceived these networks along those five pillars of digital trust.

A majority (53 percent) of U.S. Facebook users at least somewhat agreed that the platform protects their data and privacy, but this was the lowest share of respondents among all platforms measured.

LinkedIn and Pinterest ranked highest when it came to confidence in their ability to provide security. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of LinkedIn users and 66 percent of Pinterest users at least somewhat agreed that the respective platforms protect their privacy and data. LinkedIn and Pinterest have each received very little media attention related to data privacy issues, which likely contributes to their more positive perceptions among users, according to the eMarketer analysis.

Digital trust is important for brands and advertisers to consider because U.S. social users say it impacts whether they will interact with the ads they see on social platforms. In fact, 79 percent of respondents said whether a platform protects their privacy and data was either extremely or very impactful when it comes to their decision to engage with ads, according to the eMarketer post.

Transitions Academy to Mark 25th Anniversary June 13-16, 2021 in Orlando, Fla.

By Staff
Friday, September 25, 2020 12:45 AM Transitions Academy to mark 25th anniversary next June in Orlando, ECPs optimistic as business increases, optical sales bounce back to pre-Labor Day holiday levels, Bausch Health to acquire option to purchase assets of Allegro Ophthalmics, and Sen. Boozman introduces Contact Lens Rule Modernization Act all topped this week’s VMAIL news feed. Click on the headlines below to catch up on anything you might have missed.

Transitions Academy to Mark 25th Anniversary June 13-16, 2021 in Orlando, Fla.

By Staff
Friday, September 25, 2020 12:42 AM PINELLAS PARK, Fla.—Typically held in February, Transitions Academy will celebrate its 25th year as one of the industry’s most well-recognized educational events from June 13 – 16, 2021 at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, Fla, the company announced late yesterday. The submission dates for the Transitions Innovation Awards are also being extended. The awards are open to optical industry professionals, educators, retailers, optical laboratories and independent eyecare professionals and practices. The Transitions Innovation Awards categories include: 2020 Transitions Brand Ambassador (individual-only award), Retailer of the Year, Eyecare Practice of the Year, Best in Training and Best in Marketing.

Silmo Releases First Categories of Silmo D’Or Nominations

By Staff
Friday, September 25, 2020 12:39 AM PARIS—Silmo has released the first selections of nominations for the 27th Silmo D’Or awards. The awards ceremony gives prizes to recognize the creativity of the optical products for design, innovation and technology.

Novartis Names Whitney Hauser, OD, to Key Ophthalmics Post

By Staff
Friday, September 25, 2020 12:30 AM BASEL, Switzerland—As part of its commitment to developing innovative resources and relevant educational opportunities for ECPS Novartis (NYSE: NVS) has announced that Dr. Whitney Hauser will join its eyecare team as director, peer education for U.S. Ophthalmics.

AOA to Establish Task Force on Diversity and Inclusivity

By Staff
Friday, September 25, 2020 12:27 AM ST. LOUIS—The American Optometric Association (AOA), moving to follow-up on its earlier statement  on the national dialogue around diversity following the death of George Floyd, has taken the opportunity to look inward and assess how the organization can be even more impactful and focus on advocacy for doctors, patients and as a profession. One of the results has been the effort to develop a board-level Diversity and Inclusivity Task Force appointed by AOA president William T. Reynolds, OD.

Kenmark and Kensie Announce Licensing Renewal Through 2024

By Staff
Friday, September 25, 2020 12:24 AM LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Kenmark Eyewear and Kensie have announced the renewal of an exclusive licensing agreement for the design, development, production and worldwide distribution of eyewear for the Kensie brand. This agreement will extend through June 2024—Kenmark Eyewear has partnered with Kensie since 2009, launching the brand within the optical industry. The brand includes Kensie optical, Kensie sun and Kensie girl segments. Marissa Cundiff, Kenmark Eyewear marketing director, said, “We’re thrilled with the renewal of Kensie. It’s such a fun, colorful brand to work on and we love what we have created together over the years.

ECPs Optimistic as Business Increases, Wave 15 of Jobson Survey Finds

By Staff
Thursday, September 24, 2020 12:33 AM NEW YORK—Even with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to move across the U.S. in a hopscotch-like path, ECPs and eyecare practice managers seem to be exhibiting a more optimistic outlook on circumstances and taking steps to get back to more of a “normal” approach to business, according to the 15th Wave of Jobson's ECP Coronavirus Survey. Jobson Research conducted the survey during the Sept. 18-22 period.

LION Eye Group Signs Supplier Agreement With ABB Optical Group

By Staff
Thursday, September 24, 2020 12:30 AM NEW YORK—LION Eye Group, a network of independent optometry practices that utilizes various key initiatives and protocols across strategic and non-clinical operational disciplines to increase provider profitability, entered into a master service agreement with ABB Optical Group.

Nikon Launches New Online Ordering Platform

By Staff
Thursday, September 24, 2020 12:25 AM To further improve the consumer experience, Nikon announces the launch of a new online ordering platform. This platform will help improve efficiency in clinics so ECPs can provide the best service to their patients. Read More 

WestGroupe Appoints Alexis Nyiro Director of Product and Marketing

By Staff
Thursday, September 24, 2020 12:24 AM MONTREAL, Canada—WestGroupe has announced that Alexis Nyiro has been promoted to director of product and marketing. Nyiro joined WestGroupe 11 years ago, and “has been instrumental in the design and development of WestGroupe’s product portfolio and has been an integral part of marketing our brands over the years,” the company said.

I-deal Optics and Rafaella Renew Licensing Agreement

By Staff
Thursday, September 24, 2020 12:15 AM TROY, Michigan and NEW YORK—I-deal Optics and Rafaella, a division of Perry Ellis International, have announced a multi-year extension of their licensing agreement. The agreement grants I-deal Optics the rights to design, produce and distribute sun and prescription eyewear under the Rafaella brand through Dec. 31, 2023. I-deal Optics has held this license since 2018. Rafaella was initially launched in 1982, and is now a well-established lifestyle collection of on-trend and ready-to-wear styles that embrace women’s individual shapes. 

Clothing Stores and Food Services Fall Behind in Uneven Retail Recovery

By Staff
Wednesday, September 23, 2020 4:35 PM Despite the expiration of the weekly supplement to unemployment benefits at the end of July, U.S. consumer spending continued to bounce back in August, albeit at a slower pace than before, according to a recent feature from Statista.com. According to preliminary estimates published by the U.S. Census Bureau last week, seasonally adjusted retail and food services sales amounted to $537.5 billion last month, up more than 30 percent from its April low and 2.5 percent from the same period last year.

While the ongoing bounce back in consumer spending is certainly encouraging, it needs to be noted that the recovery has been uneven and that spending levels are still below pre-crisis levels for many retailers. 

As the following chart shows, clothing and accessories stores have been badly impacted by the pandemic, with sales in the three months ended August 2020 more than 20 percent below the same period of 2019. The same is true for food services and drinking places, which saw spending levels 19 percent off last year’s total and department stores, which trailed last year’s sales for the months of June, July and August by 16 percent.

Click here to read the full story from Statista.com.

KKR to Acquire 1-800 Contacts from AEA Investors in Deal Valued at About $3 Billion

By Staff
Wednesday, September 23, 2020 8:05 AM DRAPER, Utah—1-800 Contacts, the largest retailer of contact lenses in the U.S., today announced a definitive agreement under which global investment firm KKR will acquire the company from AEA Investors. The sale follows many years of strong growth and technology innovation for the direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand, which was purchased by AEA Investors in 2016. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. However, sources close to the deal told VMAIL that the deal is valued at roughly $3 billion, about $2 billion more than when it was acquired by AEA.

Jobson Tracker: Optical Sales Bounce Back to Pre-Labor Day Holiday Levels

By Staff
Wednesday, September 23, 2020 12:30 AM NEW YORK—Nationally, optical sales returned to their levels prior to the Labor Day Holiday during the most recent week for which metrics have been tracked (Sept. 14 – Sept. 20). Following substantial decreases resulting from the Labor Day holiday for the previous week tracked (Sept. 7 – Sept. 13), overall optical sales in all categories bounced back to where they had been on a national level during the week of Aug. 31 to Sept. 6.