Industry-Leading Initiative Powered by Begins with Beta Test in July
DALLAS – (June 26, 2009) – Essilor of America, Inc., the nation’s leading manufacturer of optical lenses, today announces that they will offer an AOA endorsed e-commerce solution for independent eye care professionals (ECPs) to provide optical products online to their current and future patients.

In a recent ECP Internet Usage & Attitude Study, Essilor and Jobson Optical Research found that many ECPs believe online purchasing is a growing trend in the eyecare industry. The research also indicated that ECPs felt they were ill-equipped to meet this challenge alone.

“It was quite clear from our research that an industry solution was necessary, so Essilor quickly went to work on solutions that could provide an online option to extend an ECPs existing practice beyond the traditional brick and mortar,” said Howard Purcell, O.D., F.A.A.O., Dipl., vice president, customer development for Essilor.

Throughout the research process, Essilor and the AOA have been in discussions about this growing need in the industry and the potential solutions to benefit optometrists.

“This online marketplace solution will be of great benefit to the members of AOA and will help position our doctors to better serve patients in the 21st century,” said Peter H. Kehoe, O.D., American Optometric Association (AOA) president. “We are pleased to support Essilor’s efforts to pave the way for doctors of optometry to expand their businesses through the Internet marketplace. Essilor is leading the industry to provide an online dispensary solution for optometrists, and we at the AOA look forward to providing guidance and support as this initiative continues to develop.”

After an exhaustive search, Essilor chose to help power this initiative. Unlike virtually every other online industry player,, has been a successful online optical business since 1996, when it was founded by optometrists Dhavid Cooper, O.D. and Guy Hodgson, O.D., and provides a model that is consistent with our industry’s high standard of care.

“As eyecare professionals ourselves, we are extremely proud to be associated with Essilor and this initiative,” said Dhavid Cooper, O.D., M.S., CEO and co-founder of “This partnership culminates a vision we’ve had for years to fully equip the optical industry with the tools to be successful online. This initiative allows ECPs the opportunity to participate in the online space with their own full-service e-commerce site, leveraging the experience, technology and expertise has successfully developed since 1996.”

With this announcement, Essilor is entering into a beta test with several practices starting in July to further refine and develop this solution. Future plans for expansion will be contingent upon the results of this test and its success in the market.

Any comments or questions about this Internet initiative should be addressed to