NEW YORK—Mirroring their overall companies’ sales performance in 2021, which saw the U.S.’ mass merchants and warehouse clubs reflect strong consumer buying activity and a healthy return to business after the initial pandemic year of 2020, those operations with optical departments experienced healthy gains as well. Collective revenues from this sector of the market rose some 16 percent for the year, reaching $3.86 billion in calendar year 2021, according to their reports and VM estimates.

The collective number of optical departments within the group also grew by 32 locations overall, propelled by the 11 new Costco Optical locations, 12 new departments within Target, and 9 new locations within BJ’s.

In terms of sales, Walmart’s total optical presence reflected a 10 percent sales increase, per VM’s estimates. Within that total, the 230 departments operated within Walmart by National Vision Holdings rose by a solid 16 percent.

With the addition of its new optical departments plus organic growth, Costco Optical’s sales rose 27 percent in 2021, making it the second largest mass merchant player in optical.

Target Optical also realized a nearly 10 percent increase, per VM’s estimates. BJ’s Optical realized an approximate 11 percent increase in sales per VM’s estimates.