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Thread: Independent labs vs. Supplier-owned labs:

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    Enjoying the education drk's Avatar
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    Independent labs vs. Supplier-owned labs:

    Reading this month's Vision Monday, it shows the sales success of the Essilor/Hoya/Zeiss labs vs. the independents.

    Assuming this trend continues, what should the "average joe" retail account and the end-user consumer expect, in the future?

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    Big Smile Maybe you did not see.................

    Quote Originally Posted by drk
    Assuming this trend continues, what should the "average joe" retail account and the end-user consumer expect, in the future?
    drk, If you have not seen the future coming.........provided it all works out according to plans........."elimination" is the word.

    After elimination comes the next stage..............."domination of the marklet."

    Fidel Castro is on the way out .................but they are on the way in and if their plans will work as long as Castro did, ..........you and me will be 6 feet under ground for many years, until there will be a new change.

    :bbg: :hammer:
    Chris Ryser
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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser
    drk, If you have not seen the future coming.........provided it all works out according to plans........."elimination" is the word.

    After elimination comes the next stage..............."domination of the marklet."
    I could not have said it better. We are seeing this very fast in the independent lab business in the US as well as in the retail optical chains. Market share will drop for independents in both sectors. The difference between the 2:
    - independent labs willingly sold their position to one of the big boys
    - independent practioners are giving their dollars to eyewear manufacturers who re-invest their profits to open and/or buy other chains to further increase their retail market share.

    Likely scenario....at some point we will see mergers between eyewear and lens manufacturers who then will grow their retail positions further.

    Doc

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    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Unhappy Opticians Like Gas Stations.....................

    Quote Originally Posted by DocInChina
    Likely scenario....at some point we will see mergers between eyewear and lens manufacturers who then will grow their retail positions further.
    Doc
    Doc, You spun the thread even further.....................

    It is kind of sad to see a profession paying itself, for the contract to get killed, out front.

    Remebember the old independent gas station ?.............where you could get repairs done on your car for good hourly rate...........change and rotate the tires..........gey some free air in your tires.

    Today they are mostly corporation owned self service stations with a 24 hour food store where the operater can make an extra buck. All the gas of the different brands come out of the same refinery = being the same product at the same price. The only competition is the location.

    The optical retail outlets will become a similar concept in the very near future, run and directed by the corporations.

    :hammer:
    Chris Ryser
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    Enjoying the education drk's Avatar
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    How will the loss of independent labs put optical retailers out of business? I understand how the Luxottica vertical integration strategy hurts us, but what about the labs? Are you predicting a lens manufacturer/lab merger with a retail giant? Essilor and Luxottica?

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    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Future .......................

    Quote Originally Posted by drk
    How will the loss of independent labs put optical retailers out of business? I understand how the Luxottica vertical integration strategy hurts us, but what about the labs? Are you predicting a lens manufacturer/lab merger with a retail giant? Essilor and Luxottica?
    The frame manufacturer is using his profits to purchase and buy out optical retailers. They just did buy another bnch right in China. Ultimate goal = eliminating competitors

    The lens manufacturers buy up labs, Zeiss just announced another one this week.

    Many independent labs do not qualify anymore for certain products made by the large corporations.

    Lens manufacturers will go even more high tech............so that you can measure everything you need in the retail by high tech instruments, and can eliminate professional emplyoees, because the order goes straight on line to the lab, who does the producing and finishing of the glasses.

    A optical store will become an order and delivery kiosk and not more than that. Places like that can be run by the corporations who then will take the profit from manufacturing the lens...........processing the lens..........and retailing the lens.

    You, as an optometrist will not loose your profession but you will be downsized to supplying prescriptions..............day in day out and you will be dreaming of it at night.

    When everything is in place you wioll be able to see the final fight.................which is who gobbles up whom. By then you will have 3 or 4 dominating companies in the optical trade and they will merge or swallow each other and then cremate and bury the balance.

    I am no Orwellian but the the light at the end of tunnel is visible.
    Chris Ryser
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    Bad address email on file Mikef's Avatar
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    Actually,

    If you talk to people in the real busines world! Consolidaition only hurts the comsumer. (Higher prices)

    If all the labs were owned by one company, price would not be a factor everyone would make more money. They would not have to give discounts to bigger stores and the smaller stores would pay the same.= easier to compete.

    I tell all my customers that Luxottica should buy every chain in the country. which would = less 50% off free this free that. They would make more money and so would the idependent.

    Idependent opticals can thrive if you are willing to change. If not ?

    Has anybody check the prices at LC lately on lenses?

    I got a call from a customer that had to get a job done at 8:00AM this morning for a patient. He called me last night and said his lab could not get him the lenses on time. He called Lenscrafters and ordered the lenses. He was shocked. Ploy for 180 and he charges $129. By the way being a wonderful rep I picked them up for him and drop them off last night a 8:30PM at his store. He closes at 9:00PM on Firday.

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    Mikef: Please explaine: "Ploy for 180, he charges 129."

    Thanks,

    Chip

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Jubilee's Avatar
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    What he means is the LC charges $180 for poly (I believe this is Featherwate Plus..Tegra Aspheric) and the account only charges $129 for the same product.

    The point being, LC isn't the cheapest place in town...

    Cassandra
    "Some believe in destiny, and some believe in fate. But I believe that happiness is something we create."-Something More by Sugarland

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    Bad address email on file Mikef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chip anderson
    Mikef: Please explaine: "Ploy for 180, he charges 129."

    Thanks,

    Chip
    He had to buy his lenses from Lenscrafters for his patient.(Lab closed and all other Independent shops that might have had them in stock, Also closed. He had to have the job done in the morning and that was the only way he could get the lenses in time.

    He did lose money on the job but save a patient that buys many pairs per year!

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    Bad address email on file Mikef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jubilee
    What he means is the LC charges $180 for poly (I believe this is Featherwate Plus..Tegra Aspheric) and the account only charges $129 for the same product.

    The point being, LC isn't the cheapest place in town...

    Cassandra
    What she said!

    They are actually the more expensive than about 95% of Idependents in the area by quite a bit!

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    Master OptiBoarder spartus's Avatar
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    $180 for Poly? In single vision?

    Wow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jubilee
    What he means is the LC charges $180 for poly (I believe this is Featherwate Plus..Tegra Aspheric) and the account only charges $129 for the same product.

    The point being, LC isn't the cheapest place in town...

    Cassandra
    Featherwate Plus (Poly Ashperic) is $210.00

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    Thumbs up Beware..............................

    Quote Originally Posted by lee1590
    Featherwate Plus (Poly Ashperic) is $210.00
    Why the heck aren't you people not seeing the writing on the wall ?

    All the announcements of people loosing their jobs all over the place..............fom the car industry to the major banks, while the media tell you it;s never been as good. Interest's going up.

    When the public is getting scared, thet are holding on to their savings, will not make majour purchases, and if purchases are needed they will go the less expensive way.

    Why not prpeare yourself with less costyly frames and also lenses to get at least some market share of the perople affected adversly by the new economic trend.
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Jubilee's Avatar
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    That is the point ;) Most independants are cheaper than the big box corporate hogs... when I can sell the same lens for significantly less, it makes the patients think. Then is the frames are cheaper too.....

    As I mentioned in a previous post, I stay current on their pricing so I can make sure my patients who ask about them can compare apples to apples. If they need a rush, my lab can have it in my hand next day. Most patients can wait, and if they can't.. then its time to call in a favor to the lab. (Who has allowed us to send patients to them for "while you wait service" before.)

    Cassandra
    "Some believe in destiny, and some believe in fate. But I believe that happiness is something we create."-Something More by Sugarland

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    Master OptiBoarder QDO1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jubilee
    That is the point ;) Most independants are cheaper than the big box corporate hogs... when I can sell the same lens for significantly less, it makes the patients think. Then is the frames are cheaper too.....
    Interestingly this is in the face of the big guys having a much lower purchase price for the same product
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    Enjoying the education drk's Avatar
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    Are you kidding me with those Lenscrafters prices for spherical and aspheric poly? Man, oh man, that's robbery!

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Jubilee's Avatar
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    For Children under 12 it is half price!

    Know the competition. Be able to not necessarily knock them down, but be able to tell your patients how you are better.. not only in service..but in price/quality/value/etc.

    Cassandra
    "Some believe in destiny, and some believe in fate. But I believe that happiness is something we create."-Something More by Sugarland

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    Enjoying the education drk's Avatar
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    Oink, oink, oink. Pigs get slaughtered.

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    Blue Jumper Boycott........................

    Quote Originally Posted by drk
    Are you kidding me with those Lenscrafters prices for spherical and aspheric poly? Man, oh man, that's robbery!
    drk.....................if I would be wearing your socks ant title............I would find out what brand or make they are using, inform all other independents in your district and organize a boycott of that particular brand, Should not be so hard to do.

    Use something competitive and tell patients that you now have a better brand that is not available at LC sold with more personal service ect.
    Chris Ryser
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    Bad address email on file Mikef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser
    drk.....................if I would be wearing your socks ant title............I would find out what brand or make they are using, inform all other independents in your district and organize a boycott of that particular brand, Should not be so hard to do.

    Use something competitive and tell patients that you now have a better brand that is not available at LC sold with more personal service ect.
    WHAT!!

    Drk. I don't know but I would try to find out what they carry and carry the same thing at your much lower prices. Then tell the customer that you have the same product for less. Also offer other products as well.

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    revive the thread

    Maybe I will get booed for reviving a thread. But here goes.

    speaking of boycotting lens companies and outrageous LC prices, think about this:

    My local Wal-Mart optical retail price for poly polarized SV lenses in grey or brown cut and edged is $68. The Outlook progressive polarized is $168. The brand is SunRx by Vision-Ease; the company who's motto is "Independent, It's why we care"
    I shop wholesale labs pretty hard and I can't find a wholesale price to beat that. Maybe I should just buy them from Wal-Mart. At least they would give me 100% discount on a Dr's redo. Much better than my lab.

    Sounds like Vision-Ease has made a deal with the devil. I don't fault anyone's business decisions. Sell to whomever you want. But I don't like selling to the big guys for 1/3 what you charge for the independents and claiming you care about independents. It's like cheating on your spouse, and it's a lie. I don't sell Vision-Ease products. Now if a Vision-Ease rep sees this and want's to offer me the same price that Wal-Mart gets . . . .

    And the SunRx brand name is all over the store. Other brands pushed at the store are NikonEyes (frames and lenses), and Zeiss platinum. I don't know what Zeiss platinum is but it's supposed to be easy to clean and I wish I could get it for what Wal-Mart SELLS it for.

    I wish LC was my competition. I could raise my prices by 40% and drive them out of the county.

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    Allen Weatherby OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Wal-Mart, don't even try to compete directly

    MarcE said:
    Sounds like Vision-Ease has made a deal with the devil. I don't fault anyone's business decisions. Sell to whomever you want. But I don't like selling to the big guys for 1/3 what you charge for the independents and claiming you care about independents. It's like cheating on your spouse, and it's a lie. I don't sell Vision-Ease products. Now if a Vision-Ease rep sees this and want's to offer me the same price that Wal-Mart gets . . . .
    Its a case of actions speak louder than words. I am truely surprised that a company with very little consumer recognition didn't just sell Wal-Mart a different named product and you and the rest of the industry would never have known.

    Now Vision Ease is about to go public, based on the restructuring that they have gone through I question the marketing wisdom. I don't question the product quality for what it is.

    I suggest you attempt to sell a different more high tech polarized lens. Tell your patients your lens costs more, but have the knowledge and ability to explain why you offer a better although more expensive product.

    Almost every product Wal-Mart sells is distributed by a non Wal-Mart marketing channel. It is business suicide to try to compete against Wal-Mart based on price, in optical or any other catagory Wal-Mart sells.

    Know your what you + points are and don't try to compete on something like price which you can't.

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    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocInChina View Post
    - independent practioners are giving their dollars to eyewear manufacturers who re-invest their profits to open and/or buy other chains to further increase their retail market share.
    Doc
    Hmm...this sounds familiar. Too bad nobody mentioned this before.:hammer:

    Oh! That's right...when someone mentions it, it's called "Lux bashing", and you can't bash our "partners'.









    The OD's and indie opticians reaching retirement age are all getting ready to jump out of the optical airplane. Big surprise when their golden parachute (which has been packed by their "partners") doesn't open. Witness the amount of practices that people are trying to almost give away on Optical Marketplace.

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    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post
    Why the heck aren't you people not seeing the writing on the wall ?

    If you step back from teh business and view from the outside, it's like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

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