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Independent Boutique Retailers Invited to Submit Their Stories for the OPTImum Retail Award

Businesses in the independent retail market are encouraged to submit their stories for consideration by Friday, Feb. 8.




(PRESS RELEASE) ALEXANDRIA, VA — The Vision Council and RX, organizers of Vision Expo, have announced that submissions are now being accepted for the Fifth Annual OPTImum Retail Award. Businesses in the independent retail market are encouraged to submit their stories for consideration by Friday, Feb. 8.

Interested in applying for the 5th Annual OPTImum Award? To apply, click here.

The three finalists will be revealed on February 22, and then reviewed via popular vote on Vision Expo social media channels until March 3. Social media votes will then be factored into the judges’ final scores.

The OPTImum Retail Award winner will be announced at Vision Expo East 2023 during an award ceremony hosted by Suzanne Kraus of Vision Expo and James Spina of 20/20 Magazine on Friday, March 17 at 3:45 p.m. on The Bridge. Additionally, the winner will be featured in an article in 20/20 Magazine. The three finalists will receive a stipend of $500 (domestic) and $750 (international) to attend Vision Expo East 2023 and the announcement celebration.

Application Process

Applicants for the 2023 award will be judged based on the categories detailed below. Applicants must address all three categories in their submission. Categories include:

  • Uniqueness: What is the secret to making your optical store unique?
  • Community: Describe how you engage with your local community to create meaningful relationships
  • Industry: What is a problem you’ve noticed in the industry and how are you solving it?
  • Aesthetics: Submit photos of your retail environment

To determine the top three finalists, a committee of industry leaders will deliberate, and vote based on the categories listed. This year’s committee members include James Spina, Editor-in-Chief and Senior Vice President at 20/20 Magazine; Dr. Adam Ramsey of Socialite Vision; and Dr. Jennifer Tsai, Founder of LINE OF SIGHT, Creator of @drjenandjuice.

Award Background

Launched in 2018, the OPTImum Retail Award was designed to celebrate the importance of independent boutique retailers in the optical industry. “This award shines a spotlight on those enterprising and dynamic privately held retailers who strive to bring consumers nationwide the very best in eyewear,” says Fran Pennella, Vice President, Vision Expo at RX. Since its inception, the OPTImum Retail Award has been awarded to Todd Rogers of Todd Rogers Eyewear (2018); Edward Beiner of Edward Beiner Eyes Forward (2019); Julia Gogosha of Gogosha Optique (2021); and Gary Black of Black Optical (2022).

Vision Expo East 2023

Vision Expo East 2023 will take place at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City from March 16–19, 2023. The Show’s educational program, together with OptiCon®@Vision Expo, will open Thursday, March 16 and the Exhibit Hall will open Friday, March 17.

If you are interested in attending, register here.


Members of The Vision Council receive discounted rates per net square foot, upwards of five percent, for exhibiting at any Vision Expo. For more information about exhibiting at Vision Expo, contact Cedric Fellows, sales, Vision Expo East.

For more information on Vision Expo, visit here.


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