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VSP to Open 3 Brick-and-Mortar Stores

The company will also launch a ‘doctor-centric alternative to private equity.’

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RANCHO CORDOVA, CA – VSP Global announced that it plans to open three brick-and-mortar Eyeconic locations and launch of VSP Ventures, a business unit designed to offer “a care-focused choice for doctors looking to transition their practices.”

“Benefits managers are demanding more substantial retail options and doctors have been asking VSP to create a doctor-centric alternative to private equity. It’s critical for VSP to ensure this evolving landscape serves both our members and VSP network doctors in mutually beneficial ways,” said Michael Guyette, president and CEO of VSP Global. “A well-defined network strategy, which includes retail, allows us to provide a variety of options for doctors at every career stage and in every kind of practice setting — from privately owned, to dispensary-managed, to VSP-owned and operated.”

VSP Ventures “will facilitate practice transitions for doctors looking to retire or evolve to a different model,” according to a press release. The company said additional details will be announced soon.

The three Eyeconic stores will open in the Chicago market throughout 2019. The stores will be an extension of VSP’s ecommerce site, eyeconic.com.

“In collaboration with our innovation lab, The Shop, we’ve identified a unique, uncommitted customer who seeks a differentiated eye care and eyewear-buying experience,” said Bill Vaughan, president of VSP Retail. “In partnership with a Doctor of Optometry, Eyeconic is well-positioned to meet changing customer requirements by creating a digital and physical brand environment based on personalization, choice, and well-being.”

Each store will be wholly owned and operated by VSP with a sublease model for VSP network doctors.

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Market selection was “strategically focused on regions that have shown high numbers of out-of-network claims at optical chains and mass retailers,” according to the release.

“Our goal is to create more opportunities for doctors,” said Guyette. “Without a strategic retail footprint, we risk closing the door on key clients, as well as the 20 percent of consumers who are choosing retail and even online-based eyewear stores over private practice. This is about smart growth that allows VSP to win more contracts and, in turn, more patients to drive into Premier Program practices.”

Details and exact locations of the Eyeconic concept stores will be announced in the coming months, the company stated.

“As a doctor-governed organization, VSP is continually looking for ways to advantage doctors in the decisions we make and this comprehensive retail strategy is no exception,” said Gordon Jennings, OD, VSP Global board chairman. “This is about growth that helps doctors achieve long-term success, while allowing VSP to fulfill its mission of providing access to quality eye care and eyewear to as many people as possible.”

More information is available at www.JustTheFactsVSP.com.

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