Analysts predict increasing consolidation for the industry.
With an apparent dearth of $250-million investment opportunities out there, equity firms are turning their attentions to smaller scores, including independently owned optometry chains. “We’ve been wanting to invest in the largely fragmented independent, medically focused optometrist market,” says an exec for the equity firm that last week purchased Missouri-based Clarkson Eyecare, with 63 locations in its home state, plus 19 locations in Ohio and northern Kentucky. Another analyst says he expects half of the optical retail industry to consolidate via mergers and acquisitions in the next five years.
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