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Major Online Seller of Contact Lenses Acquired

Its brands include OptiContacts.com and ContactsExpress.ca.

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VANCOUVER — Hardy Capital, a Canadian investment firm, has acquired LD Vision Group, whose brands include OptiContacts.com and ContactsExpress.ca.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

LD Vision Group’s brands have delivered 2.7 million orders to more than 1.1 million customers. In 2018, the company generated approximately $50 million in revenue.

Arshil Abdulla, founder and CEO of LD Vision Group, said, “We are excited to take this next step in the company’s journey. We believe the optical market is preparing for a shift that will reshape the industry and partnering with the Hardy Capital team prepares us for this large and growing secular opportunity.”

Roger Hardy, CEO of Hardy Capital, previously founded the pioneering brand in omnichannel eyecare, Coastal.com. Coastal.com, owner of Clearly.ca and Lensway.se, grew to over $1 billion in aggregate eyewear sales across 120 countries and was listed on the NASDAQ before being acquired by Essilor in 2014 for $450 million.

“More than 70 per cent of North American adults have corrective vision needs, yet the eyecare industry continues to be plagued by high costs, low convenience, and inconsistent customer service,” said Hardy.

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“Arshil Abdulla, [co-founder and CMO] Fayaz Abdulla, and [COO] Sean Mitha are leaders in North America in technology, automation, and customer service in the category. We’re thrilled to be partnering with them to build a new platform for customers.”

Hardy Capital stated that it expects to announce broader expansion plans into the eyecare industry in coming months.

The purchase of LD Vision Group marks the second investment in the eyecare category by the Hardy Capital team. In 2018, the team made a seed-stage investment in Privé Revaux.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 21 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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Optical Company to Close Its Doors

It’s the “only remaining manufacturer of glass lenses and polarized glass lenses in the USA.”

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Sauk Rapids, MN-based X-Cel Optical is closing its doors.

The Sauk Rapids facility will shut down permanently in June 2020, WJON-AM reports.

The operation, part of Essilor of America, primarily manufactures bifocals, trifocals and glass lenses. A company spokeswoman told WJON that decreased demand for those products is a factor in the closure.

The facility has 125 full-time employees, all of whom will be affected. But WJON reports that they will be able to move into jobs at other Essilor-owned facilities in the region if they wish.

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Todd Schultz, community development director for Sauk Rapids, told the news outlet that the company plans to move the operations to locations outside the U.S.

Founded in Detroit in 1937, X-Cel Optical is “the only remaining manufacturer of glass lenses and polarized glass lenses in the USA,” according to its website.

Read more at WJON-AM

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Eyecare Centers Report Data Breach

They fell victim to malware.

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SWANSEA, IL — JFJ Eyecare Ltd., doing business as Quantum Vision Centers and Eye Surgery Center LLC, announced that some of its systems were accessed by an unauthorized person.

“While there is no evidence that suggests that any data was actually taken, Quantum Vision Centers and Eye Surgery Center have mailed letters to individuals whose information may have been affected,” the company stated in a press release.

On April 18, Quantum Vision Centers and Eye Surgery Center “became aware of an incident in which malware was introduced by an unauthorized person into some of their systems,” according to the release.

The malware encrypted certain files, including on a server that contained patient protected health information. The types of affected data may include first and last name, date of birth, address, social security number and information relating to health insurance coverage.

“There is currently no evidence that suggests this malware incident actually resulted in the acquisition of any personal information beyond its encryption, but that possibility cannot be conclusively ruled out,” the company stated.

Quantum Vision Centers and Eye Surgery Center have taken steps including “working diligently to contain the promulgation of the malware, and engaging a third-party forensics firm to investigate the scope and source of the incident.” They also deployed backup measures to recover the data that had been encrypted by the malware and to ensure that the services to patients could continue with limited interruption.

“Quantum Vision Centers and Eye Surgery Center continue to work on ways to mitigate the risk of future such incidents,” according to the release. “Out of an abundance of caution, they are providing patients that may have been affected by this incident with one year of credit monitoring services at no cost to them.”

Quantum Vision Centers and Eye Surgery Center encourage patients to remain vigilant over the coming months and regularly review their bank and other financial account statements, as well as their credit report. Patients that have any reason to believe that they may be the victim of identity theft, or notice any suspicious activity on any of their accounts, should immediately notify the relevant institution, their local law enforcement agency, their state’s Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission.

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Safilo Plans New US Facility

It will be located in Denver.

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(PRESS RELEASE) PADUA/SECAUCUS – Eyewear maker Safilo has announced plans to open a new North American Distribution Center in Denver, CO.

The company took possession of the new Denver Logistics Hub on June 18, with the expectation of being fully operational within the third quarter of this year, according to a press release. The existing Safilo North American Distribution Centers in Clearfield, UT, and Montreal, along with the other existing facility in Denver, will be integrated into the new Denver facility. The company’s lab facility for Smith prescription lenses, currently located in Clearfield, will also be relocated to the new Denver Distribution Center.

This decision follows the company’s plans to merge four distribution centers into one hub and operationally streamline and modernize its U.S. logistics and distribution network. The first phase was initiated by the move in June 2016 of its Parsippany, NJ, Distribution Center to the current Denver location. This was followed in July 2017 by the move of Safilo’s North American headquarters to Secaucus, NJ.

The new logistics hub in Denver will allow for an important improvement in efficiency — a 20% increase of inventory capacity and a 15% improvement in delivery performance, according to the release. It will also include environmentally sustainable features such as carbon footprint reduction and the use of eco-friendly materials for packaging.

“I’m very excited to see this major initiative which illustrates the company’s commitment to better serve our customers in North America become a reality,” said Steve Wright, president and chief commercial officer of Safilo North America. “This integration of three warehouses into a single, new, cutting-edge facility in a part of Denver where other major distribution centers are located allows us to combine functions under one technologically superior facility to meet the needs of our customers and the ever-increasing demands of the end consumer.”

“This is a landmark initiative for Safilo that leverages Denver’s already successful track record of delivering distribution and logistics across the region, and will further optimize our customer service levels across North America thanks to the investments in automation and digitalization, leveraging the new hub as a competitive advantage for the Group worldwide and also increasing our people’s skills and capabilities,” said Fabio Roppoli, chief product supply officer of Safilo Group. “The new D.C. will offer top-of-the-line warehouse and D&L capabilities for maximum operational efficiency.”

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