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The state of the optical industry

Optical industry is undergoing major changes

$39.8 billion - total size of the optical industry in the U.S. - source: Vision Monday - 2015 VisionWatch surveyThe optical industry generated revenues of just under $40 billion in the United States in 2015 (Vision Monday). Nearly $27 billion of the spending came from prescription lenses and frames. Less than $6 billion came from exams.

Since 1961, Pearle Vision has brought optometrists and opticians together to provide genuine eye care and an outstanding retail experience. It’s a powerful combination: In 2015, Pearle Vision Centers owned by optometrists generated an average of $1.1 million in revenue, with about 75% of revenue coming from retail sales. It is worth noting that Pearle Vision charges royalties only on the retail side of the business. To see how other licensed operators’ businesses performed, visit our “How Much Can I Make?” page.

$1.976 million - Average total revenue for top quarter of optometrist-owned Pearle Vision Centers in 2015. $1.5 million of the total came from retail sales.Growing customer base

The vision care industry is experiencing rapid growth. As America grows older, the demand for eye care is increasing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there will be 56 million Americans 65 or older by 2020. By 2050, that number is expected to grow to 84 million, with 19 million of those age 85 or older. As people age, regular eye exams and corrective lenses are key to maintaining vision, overall health, and independence. At the same time, the even larger Millennial generation will provide a massive new base of patients for vision care providers. Over the past two decades, more employers have begun offering vision coverage for adults. Coverage has encouraged more adults to take advantage of eye exams, and has helped more adults receive the vision care they need.

Demographic changes and the increasing pool of insured patients has attracted new competition to the industry. Private equity groups are investing in optical stores because they recognize the long-term sustainable demand for eye care.

Pearle Vision’s position in the industry

Pearle Vision sets itself apart in the industry through its commitment to genuine eye care. Our business model is designed to allow optometrists and opticians to stay focused on building trusting relationships with patients in their community, and building a bond as the neighborhood eye care provider of choice.

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We have staked out a premium position within the eye care industry, offering better service, better selection, and a better patient experience. Pearle Vision’s support and streamlined systems help optical stores generate higher sales and profit margins by providing:

  • a brand name that patients know and have respected for five decades.
  • millions each year in continued marketing to attract new customers.
  • a robust local web presence that allows patients to book appointments online 24/7.
  • combined buying power that allows Pearle Vision licensed operators to obtain discounted pricing on frames, lenses, lab services and supplies.
  • a point of sale system that is integrated into data-driven inventory management systems, allowing you to automatically re-order supplies based on buying trends in your area and maximize sales volume.
  • dedicated business coaches to help you analyze and boost the performance of your business.
  • help recruiting team members.
  • ongoing training opportunities to help you improve both the optometric practice and retail sides of your business.
  • a network of fellow Pearle Vision owners with whom you can share ideas.

“Pearle Vision offers a very unique value proposition,” says Chief Medical Officer Jason Singh. “First, the fact that we were created by an optometrist is key. It really helped define genuine eye care and we believe genuine eye care is really taking the best care of the patient from the exam room to the retail floor. We’re continuing to create great tools to really allow optometrists to focus on patient care and run successful practices. That could be from providing the best equipment possible to leveraging technology.”