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Thread: Independents in the USA

  1. #1
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    Independents in the USA

    Hi there, Optboarders.
    I'm new here - an optician with my own independent practice in the UK.
    We're being told that independents in Britain only have about 18% of the total eyecare market in 2018.

    Is this percentage higher in the USA or are there massive variations from state to state?
    I've always thought that the USA independents hit rock bottom some years ago and have now managed to claw back some of the market, but I might have got this wrong.

    I'd be interested to know the statistics, since the supermarket-style opticians have been around in the US for a longer time. Is there any long-term hope for a good independent?

    Thanks.
    John

  2. #2
    Master OptiBoarder
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    The independent market has declined significantly over the years here, and it will be far less than 18%, but vary from state-to-state. I suspect overall it wll be less than10%.

  3. #3
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    The number is going to be low any way you look at it. But it will vary depending on what you mean by "independent". Some people will say an independent is anything privately owned. I disagree. To me independent mean privately owned, but privately owned doesn't necessarily mean independent. I would not call a privately owned place "independent" if they sell Ray-ban, Oakley, Persol, Fossil, Fendi, Banana Republic, ect., they sell Essilor lenses, and they accept VSP, Eyemed, etc. To me, at that point, they are just distributors for the big corporations. Certainly not independent if they are "proudly a VisionSource member!"

  4. #4
    Master OptiBoarder rbaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwill212 View Post
    The number is going to be low any way you look at it. But it will vary depending on what you mean by "independent".
    Independent does indeed have many definitions. Here's mine for whatever its worth. Please bear in mid that I am an old geezer having started out in the business in 1956.

    An "independent" Ophthalmic Dispensing Optician is an individual who fabricate prescription eyewear to the Rx of an MD or OD. He is an independent business owner who may have more than one location and may be incorporated but he is the sole "owner" of the enterprise. He does not have any pecuniary interest or relationship with any MD or OD and in particular has no arrangement with any "Independent Doctor" Furthermore, he has no arrangement with any third party payee with the possible exception of the State Department of Welfare. He is free to chose whomever he wants in his supply chain.

    I realize that these principals are no longer in effect today as the Eyecare Mafia has pretty much made everyone an offer that they just cant refuse.

  5. #5
    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Redhot Jumper ..........that is the most perfect description


    He is an independent business owner who may have more than one location and may be incorporated but he is the sole "owner" of the enterprise. He does not have any pecuniary interest or relationship with any MD or OD and in particular has no arrangement with any "Independent Doctor" Furthermore, he has no arrangement with any third party payee with the possible exception of the State Department of Welfare. He is free to chose whomever he wants in his supply chain.
    ..........that is the most perfect description for being the master of your own private or incorporated business and should be still valid in today's age.

    However the mega corporations are also extending their credit lines to a point of no return, and can take over a business for the value of past due accounts. It has been done already 60 years ago by "Imperial Optical" in Canada when they were riding the big wave.

    When an older owner of an optical business retires or dies, a large part of these businesses is acquired by the *NEW LOOK VISION GROUP INC.* of which the director is a former french educated major manager at the Essilor Corporation, and is now is the big manager of the fastest growing largest Canadian Optical chain.

    see all of it at:
    http://www.newlookvision.ca/data/sha...ch-29-2017.pdf
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Big Smile Thanks to Dick Bakers post, we have now a new optical category......................

    Quote Originally Posted by rbaker View Post

    I realize that these principals are no longer in effect today as the Eyecare Mafia has pretty much made everyone an offer that they just cant refuse.
    Having walked my dog in the rain and cold at 6.30 pm and settled in my reclining chair in front of the TV and fallen asleep, I have been fully awake since shortly before midnight.

    Then I took the dog out for a pee, on the front lawn, and there was a thin layer of snow. I m so glad I blew the big load of leaves, in just a few hours today, into a pile along the side street, for collection by the city, before leaving to our winter heaven in Naples FL.

    Thanks to Dick Bakers post, we have now a new optical category: the Eyecare Mafia
    Chris Ryser
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    DLO. NA.IC.I.T.PO

    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Blue Jumper However, jokes aside,.............

    However, jokes aside,............. we have to realize that there are today, external forces, that are closely watching and judging the effect, the internet has on the end user of our products, eyeglasses, at the retail end.

    Over the last few days I have heard on radio as well as on TV that Asia's largest internet seller, *Alibaba* had been and is now, promoting and offering their goods, at least in the optical, at the lowest factory pricing possible.

    That will have the result, that the consumer can figure out what a particular or similar eyeglass frame is worth, when coming out of the manufacturers base, and later see what the optical retailer is selling it for.

    It will be hard to understand that a $ x.xx amount priced frame or and lenses should cost $ xxx.xx at an optical retail store.
    Chris Ryser
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    DLO. NA.IC.I.T.PO

    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

  8. #8
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Barry Santini's Avatar
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    And no matter the insurance-discount plan will counter act.

    Ha.

    B

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    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Redhot Jumper

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Santini View Post

    And no matter the insurance-discount plan will counter act.

    Ha.

    B

    .....................how right you are.

    however this is up for discussion at:

    ttps://www.optiboard.com/forums/showthread.php/69410-Meet-the-Montreal-optician-on-a-radical-mission-to-make-glasses-affordable
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    Hi John,

    Fellow Brit here. Was a D.O back home and now practicing in the state of Colorado. My long term goal is to open my own practice here. Depends on the state I guess. At least in Colorado, people seem to have more trust in the long term in what is called 'private practice' rather than independent. I've worked for both Boots and Speccys and never considered working for an Independent in the UK. It seems more stable here - the supermarket chains like Target/Walmart have a significant market share. But it is all about word of mouth. The PP I work for has patients that have a 20+ year history with it's doctors and that is beyond the value of any $99 pair of glasses you'll pick up at Walmart. Patient care seems better. I have mystery shopped a few places out of pure curiousity. It's not hard to see why people are so loyal for years at a time!

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    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Redhot Jumper ................human loyalty in business is a dying quality,

    Quote Originally Posted by thebritishoptician View Post

    It's not hard to see why people are so loyal for years at a time!

    ................human loyalty in business is a dying quality, induced by the technical advances of instant communication, whose many ways are open to anybody, who wants it.

    The older generation of the population that refused to participate is now on a double speeding track to dye off.

    ...........close to 10,000 businesses will be closed at he end of this year because of it.

    The younger generations have a different view of purchasing as well as doing business.
    Chris Ryser
    ________________________________________
    DLO. NA.IC.I.T.PO

    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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