Blackfin Celebrates 50th Anniversary, Opens Black Shelter Headquarters

By Staff
Monday, October 25, 2021 12:21 AM TAIBON AGORDINO, Italy—On October 13, Blackfin celebrated its 50th anniversary with the opening of its new Black Shelter headquarters, a building that nearly triples the space in its existing Taibon Agordino location, surrounded by the Belluno Dolomite mountains.

Randolph Announces Passing of Co-Founder Stanley Zaleski

By Staff
Monday, October 25, 2021 12:15 AM RANDOLPH, Mass.—Stanley Zaleski, co-founder of Randolph Engineering, passed away peacefully on Oct. 16, 2021 at the age of 82. Stanley immigrated to the U.S. from Poland at the age of 19. He attended Wentworth Institute of Technology where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Soon after graduating,  Zaleski was drafted to service for active duty in the U.S. Army from 1961 to 1963 and continued to serve in the Army Reserves until 1967.

VM Summit Session Examines How to Rebuild Patient Trust in the Wake of the Pandemic

By Staff
Friday, October 22, 2021 12:33 AM NEW YORK—As the Oct. 20 virtual VM Leadership Summit kicked off on Wednesday afternoon, two expert speakers talked about how the pandemic has put patients' trust to the test, and more importantly, how providers can tackle the issue of misinformation and help counter the formidable challenge of rebuilding that trust. In a session titled Rebuilding Trust, Dr. John Whyte, chief medical officer for WebMD and Jennifer Hauser, head of Edelman’s Wellness 360 business unit, shared views about how today’s eyecare professionals can build trust with their patients.

Eyemart Express Begins Rolling Out ‘Buy-Online, Pick-Up in Store’ Across the Company

By Staff
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 12:27 AM DALLAS—Eyemart Express, a national optical retailer, is gearing up for a company-wide launch of a buy online, pick-up in-store option (BOPIS) for same-day delivery of eyewear to its customers. The Eyemart Express team noted that it believes it is uniquely positioned in optical retail to provide this service to patients and customers, in part, because of the on-site labs in its stores. The process for consumers only takes three steps, and allows for customers to shop for high-quality glasses from anywhere and still enjoy the same-day convenience of in-person shopping at Eyemart Express locations.

Florida Vision Care Group Clear Sight Partners Rebrands to Sight360 and Will Rebrand All 16 Clinic Locations

By Staff
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 12:24 AM TAMPA, Fla.—Clear Sight Partners (CSP), a portfolio company of Spanos Barber Jesse (SBJ) operating 16 vision care clinics in Florida, announced Monday its intention to rebrand the managed services company and all of its clinics to Sight360.

Serengeti Eyewear Will Be Exclusively Manufactured in Italy

By Staff
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 12:15 AM LYON, France—Serengeti Eyewear has announced it is moving all manufacturing to Italy. The U.S. eyewear brand currently manufactures some but not all of its collection in Italy, but will move all lens and frame production to Italy by Spring 2022. The move comes as Serengeti introduces more styles to the Creator Collection, its higher priced luxury collection. Serengeti has also made a commitment to using more sustainable materials, including a new bio-acetate material for its Mainline collection.

Most Americans Who Have Tried Virtual Try-On Are Happy With Their Experience

By Staff
Friday, October 15, 2021 2:13 PM NEW YORK—The ongoing pandemic and the resultant rise in online shopping has underlined the importance of virtual try-on technology, and the need for retailers across the country to offer it, according to the findings of a Piplsay survey. The survey and its corresponding report delve into people’s opinions and comfort levels regarding this fast-evolving retail technology.

Virtual try-on in retail, which first emerged in 2012, has undergone a transformation over the years, becoming much more simplified and user-friendly. While several top retailers and brands – including Macy’s, Kohl’s, Nike and Sephora – have already adopted this technology, others such as Walmart and Gap are set to roll it out soon, according to Piplsay’s survey findings.

The technology, which uses a combination of real-time image processing, computer vision, machine learning, and other AI technology, allows consumers to visualize different products on themselves and confirm the style, size and fit before making a purchase.

Asked about what factors would prompt them to try virtual try-on, 34 percent of respondents said it would be “better decision-making,” and 23 percent said “for convenience.”

Piplsay polled 30,530 Americans nationwide to get some insights. Here is a summary of its findings:

• 34 percent of survey respondents have tried virtual try-on technology on a retail site

• 85 percent of respondents who have tried virtual try-on are happy with their experience

• 60 percent of respondents will be more encouraged to buy from brands that offer virtual try-on
• 43 percent of men and 27 percent of women have used virtual try-on so far; Clothes are most popular with men, while women prefer eyewear the most

• 39 percent of Millennials have used virtual try-on as compared with 31 percent of Gen Xers and 30 percent of Gen Zers

• 39 percent of Millennials would be more likely to buy from brands that offer virtual try-on, as compared to 34 percent of Gen Zers and 27 percent of Gen Xers

Months After Entering Canada, Specsavers Sets the Bar High With a Goal to Open 200 Locations by 2024

By Staff
Thursday, October 14, 2021 12:18 AM VANCOUVER—Specsavers, the world's largest optometrist-owned and led business, is disclosing ambitious expansion plans for its brand in Canada, just seven months after the U.K.-based company made its first move into the country.

Salus University 2021 Alumni and Presidential Medal Awards Announced, Including Medal Winner Reade Fahs of National Vision

By Staff
Wednesday, October 13, 2021 12:15 AM ELKINS PARK, Pa.—Salus University has announced the 2021 recipients of the Alumni Association Awards and the Presidential Medal of Honor Awards, with the latter group including National Vision Holdings chief executive officer Reade Fahs. Both groups of awardees were honored during a ceremony on Sept. 27 at the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia. Award recipients from across the Salus University community were chosen by their peers through a nomination and voting process, according to the university’s announcement of the 2021 honorees.

Walgreens’ Partnership With Northwell Health Follows a Trend Toward Retail Health Services

By Staff
Friday, October 8, 2021 2:02 PM NEW YORK—In September, Northwell Health and Walgreens announced a five-year strategic partnership to improve population health and advance health equity in New York communities by expanding digital and retail health services to Walgreens consumers and Northwell patients and employees.
What this means is that Northwell Health’s telehealth services will be available through Walgreens' Find Care platform, and Walgreens’ pharmacy services will become an in-network benefit for Northwell employees. The move follows a trend in which health systems are partnering with retail health companies because they offer something health systems lack, convenience and accessibility, according to a recent eMarketer analysis.
For example, CVS’ MinuteClinics are affiliated with nearly 60 health systems across 27 states (including Northwell Health), and Walmart’s employee health-focused Centers of Excellence program partners with 17 health systems, the analysis noted.

The key, it seems, is convenience, with 77 percent of U.S. consumers having one or more prescriptions that require regular pharmacy visits, and of those, 56 percent said they would consider retail health visits, per an Upshow 2021 survey.

It’s not hard to imagine why so many consumers are interested in using retail health clinics for healthcare visits: Around half of retail health appointments happen after hours—which is often more convenient than appointments at health system locations during normal business hours, according to eMarketer’s report.

Eyemart Express Strengthens Partnership With Mental Wellness Nonprofit PeaceLove Foundation

By Staff
Friday, October 8, 2021 12:15 AM DALLAS—Ahead of World Mental Health Day on Sunday, Oct. 10, Eyemart Express said it has strengthened its partnership with PeaceLove Foundation, a nonprofit organization that is changing how people talk about mental health. The move will expand access to mental wellness resources for Eyemart Express’s employees and customers, according to an announcement this week. The expansion includes the launch of a charitable eyeglasses collection that will expand access to mental wellness resources. With each purchase from the exclusive glasses collection, Eyemart Express will donate 15 percent of sales to PeaceLove to aid its mental health mission.

UPDATED: 1-800 Contacts Acquires Ditto

By Staff
Thursday, October 7, 2021 12:20 AM DRAPER, Utah and OAKLAND, Calif.—1-800 Contacts formally announced that it has acquired Ditto, a leader in virtual try-on and frame recommendation technologies for eyewear brands and retailers.

Kenmark Eyewear and Lilly Pulitzer Renew License Agreement Through 2026

By Staff
Wednesday, October 6, 2021 12:21 AM LOUISVILLE, Ken.—Kenmark Eyewear has announced the renewal of the exclusive license agreement for the design, development, production and worldwide distribution of eyewear for the Lilly Pulitzer brand.

Riata Capital Group Announces Closing of Secondary Transaction for AEG Vision

By Staff
Tuesday, October 5, 2021 12:24 AM DALLAS—Riata Capital Group (RCG), a Dallas-based private equity investment firm, said Monday that it has closed a General Partners-led secondary transaction for its portfolio company AEG Vision, an owner and operator of more than 235 eyecare practices throughout North America. The transaction allows RCG to return capital to certain existing investors while providing AEG with substantial growth capital to execute its long-term strategy as it enters a new phase of growth under RCG’s guidance, the announcement noted.

Kering Eyewear Completes Acquisition of Lindberg

By Staff
Friday, October 1, 2021 12:15 AM PARIS, France and AARHUS, Denmark—Kering Eyewear announced that is has completed the acquisition of Danish luxury eyewear brand Lindberg, in accordance with the terms announced on July 8, 2021, and after having received clearance from the antitrust authorities.  Lindberg will be consolidated in Kering accounts starting from Q4 2021 onward. Kering and the Lindberg family announced the signing of an agreement for Kering Eyewear to 100 percent of the share capital of Lindberg on July 8, 2021, as reported by VMAIL.