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J&J Buys Online Contact Lens Service

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The company provides an annual supply of contact lenses.

(Press Release) JACKSONVILLE, FL – Johnson & Johnson Vision announced that it has acquired Sightbox Inc., an online, membership-based subscription service for contact lens wearers in the U.S.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sightbox services include scheduling a comprehensive annual eye exam and contact lens evaluation for members, as well as providing them with an annual supply of contact lenses. The company’s growth has been primarily fueled by private pay patients who do not have vision insurance, according to a press release.

“Consumer preferences and digital technologies are accelerating a broad shift to e-commerce across many industries,” said Ashley McEvoy, company group chairman, responsible for the Johnson & Johnson Vision Cos. “We are excited about how Sightbox can potentially fuel category growth by meeting consumers where and how they want, and by helping more contact lens wearers connect with eye care professionals through this concierge-type service.”

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Sightbox will operate as a separate business and continue to provide contact lenses from all major manufacturers, according to the release.

Sightbox marks the third acquisition completed this calendar year that expands the offerings of Johnson & Johnson Vision. The first – Abbott Medical Optics, acquired in February – included cataract, refractive and consumer eyecare products. TearScience, acquired in September, added medical device technologies that address meibomian gland disease, the leading cause of dry eye, to the Johnson & Johnson Vision portfolio.

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Sunglass Maker to Cut 295 Jobs and Close Most of Its Daytona Beach Operations

It’s being integrated into the Luxottica profile.

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Sunglass maker Costa Del Mar plans to close most of its operations in Daytona Beach, FL, with 295 jobs to be cut in the process.

The first job eliminations are set to take place on Feb. 7, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. Costa employs 350 people in Daytona Beach currently.

In a letter to state, county and city officials, the company cited “changing business needs” as the reason for its decisions.

“Certain sales and marketing functions” will remain in Daytona Beach, the newspaper reports, quoting the latter.

The layoffs will continue through the end of September.

WESH-TV reports that jobs are being moved to New York and California.

Costa was acquired by Essilor in 2014. Last year, Essilor merged with Luxottica, with the combined company being called EssilorLuxottica.

According to WESH, the company said that Costa is “an incredibly special and unique brand” and that “we see great growth potential for it in the future.”

“EssilorLuxottica’s decision to integrate Costa into the Luxottica profile will allow the brand to fully leverage on Luxottica’s strengths in everything from product innovation to manufacturing to supply chain to distribution networks, helping it reach its full potential,” the company said in the statement.

Read more at the Daytona Beach News-Journal

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Kim Kardashian Eyewear Deal to End Early Amid Disappointing Sales

The U.S. launch was a flop.

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A an agreement under which reality TV and social media star Kim Kardashian West promotes an eyewear brand is likely to end prematurely, Israeli news site Haaretz reports.

Kardashian has a two-year deal with apparel retailer Castro to tout Carolina Lemke eyewear. But discussions are underway for the deal to be cut off at the halfway point because of sluggish sales, according to Haaretz.

Kardashian was hired to boost the brand’s U.S. launch in the second quarter of 2019. Kardashian’s deal included a $6 million deal and an ownership share in Carolina Lemke USA.

But the launch was a flop, Haaretz reports. The company reportedly sold only $1 million worth of the eyewear and returned 300,000 pairs to Israel.

Castro released a statement saying: “The company’s Carolina Lemke Limited subsidiary and Ms. Kim Kardashian West are together exploring the option of adjusting the contract terms with Kim Kardashian West and the company she controls, including the matter of the period Kim Kardashian West provides her services.”

Read more at Haaretz

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Vision Council Unveils ‘Reimagination’ of Vision Expo

The next show is set for March 26-29.

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ALEXANDRIA, VA –  The Vision Council announced that it is “reimagining” its signature trade show, the bi-annual Vision Expo, for 2020.

The council, together with co-owner of the Show Reed Exhibitions, “aims to mark a new era for Vision Expo with a laser-like focus on discovery, connection and experience,” according to a press release.

Along with refreshed branding, including redesigned logos and show tagline (“The Future, Clearly”), changes will first be seen at Vision Expo East 2020, set for the Javits Center in New York City March 26–29. Shaped by feedback from both exhibitors and attendees, the new concept “is anchored in the form of curated neighborhoods, optimizing the connection between sellers and buyers, as well as exhibit spaces with enhanced design creativity and interactive appeal,” according to the release.

“We are excited to invest in the growth and evolution of Vision Expo, and the industry at large,” said Ashley Mills, CEO of The Vision Council. “The show has always served as a discovery zone for innovative products and services, new technology and fashion trends, while simultaneously encouraging and challenging the industry. 2020 provides unique significance in leading us into a vibrant future and we know the reimagination of Vision Expo will present the optical industry with the perfect platform to make that happen.”

Vision Expo East 2020 will welcome the first-phase debut of three new distinct neighborhoods:

  • The River – Daring, design-driven artisanal products creating a show-within-a-show pavilion for select industry leaders. Exhibitors in The River include Thierry Lasry, Maybach, FACE A FACE/Kilsgaard, l.a. Eyeworks, Piero Massaro/Italiana Design, Pugnale, Linda Farrow, Rigards, Anna-Karin Karlsson, Gold & Wood, Kio Yamato, Kuboram, Jacques Marie Mage, Garrett Leight/Mr. Leight, Eyevan, La LOOP, Matsuda, BAARS, Christian Roth, Robert Marc and DITA. (Located in the River Pavilion on Level 4)
  • The Union – The ultimate shopping experience of boutique and premium independent brands including exclusive, hip and fashion-forward lifestyle brands. Sample exhibitors for The Union include Lafont, OGI, Jonathan Cate, and Etnia Barcelona. (Level 3)
  • The Springs – Incubator zone for emerging talent in eyewear design. Exhibitors in The Springs include Jean Philippe Joly, Komorebi Eyewear, Mondelliani Eyewear, Nina Mur, Turchin Eyerings, Dzmitry Samal and Stellis Eyeworks. (Level 3)

Additional neighborhoods are planned to debut at Vision Expo East 2021, including new identities for three other essential aspects of the show.

“In the last 10 years, the exhibitions industry has seen its share of disruption and evolution,” said Yancy Weinrich, chief operations officer of Reed Exhibitions. “We’re meeting the challenge head-on with our re-imagination of Vision Expo through visually exciting new neighborhoods, technology and digitally driven tools to enhance business and lead generation at the show, and education that will take our audiences to new levels in their practices and businesses.”

Furthermore, a fresh take to the show’s continuing education courses includes an accredited education area dedicated to seminars, workshops and presentations led by experts in practice management, business and marketing.

“Advancements in continuing education programs are also central to Vision Expo’s reimagined presence,” said Mark Dunbar, OD, FAAO, Education Advisory Board Co-Chairman. “Custom designed for Vision Expo by the Education Advisory Board, the 2020 Education program includes exclusive, never-before-seen clinical presentations staged for the first time ever at Vision Expo East. Organized by key content areas including glaucoma, posterior segment/retina, anterior segment/dry eye, surgical/co-management, and systemic disease and diabetes, clinical attendees will discover courses specifically developed to immerse them in the most cutting-edge developments for better patient care.”

More information about the Vision Expo can be found at east.visionexpo.com.

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