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Gen Z, Millennials, a COVID-19 Reset and Other Reasons for Being Optimistic

Independent eyecare has a bright and optimistic future ahead of itself according to these Big Survey respondents.





We think it is fair to say that the past few years, on the whole, have been a grind.

Politics. Pandemic. Prices.


But even during times of high stress or worry, there may be reasons for hope. And, sometimes, it’s that hope that helps us get through our rough patches.

We wanted to give voice to hope. So we included a hopeful question in this year’s Big Survey: With all the negative headlines at the moment, what makes you optimistic about the future of the independent ECP?

We are thankful for the respondents who chimed in. It is good to be reminded, from time to time, that there are reasons for optimism.


Here’s a selection. We hope you find these as uplifting as we did.


Advancing Forward

  • Seeing people find ways to reinvent the trade. For a long time there were so many people selling the same things and running their business very similarly to each other. Covid made us rethink what we do and how we do it.
  • Scope of practice increasing.

The continued push by organized optometry to continually evolve our profession.

  • Great progress and advancements in tech and optical.
  • More medical care/being able to do cosmetic procedures around the eyes.

The Next Generations

  • The Gen Zs. They do not like influencers, love companies that give back, focus on upcycling and reusing, prefer mental health over pushing their way through corporate America.

People, especially Millennials, tend to see the value in shopping local and supporting the little guys. We are at a huge advantage when it comes to that!

  • The OAA Student to Leadership program, as well as the awesome young people we have joining our practice.

Digital Upside

  • As baby boomers and GEN X’ers age, their need for corrective lenses increases with the increased use of digital equipment.
  • With the increased use of computer devices people will have eye issues more than ever.




Private Equity Pushback

  • Good and growing community of independent-minded ECP, the rise of the private equity has increased awareness.
  • Independent ECPs are more nimble during difficult times because they aren’t controlled by a corporate machine. They are smaller, they are more discerning and the wave of private equity buyouts are funneling people to independents in a huge way because they are looking to support private businesses, for a personalized level of service and they have quality standards that are met by the independent market.

Working with the people

  • I think that patients still want the customer service they receive from an in-office experience.
  • People still want unique, customized experiences they can’t get at big box stores.

People starting to realize that even though things are cheaper online they’re not always the best quality.

  • People seem to want to work with people they can trust, no matter what generation they are.
  • People are becoming more open minded and accepting of diversity.
  • So many people looking to start practices or buy practices! Independent eyecare is still thriving!



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