Vision benefits company VSP Global has taken a major step into brick-and-mortar eyewear retailing with its acquisition of Visionworks, which operates more than 700 stores across nearly 40 states and the District of Columbia. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“With the close of this acquisition, we can provide more value to our clients and members and respond to their expectations for a substantial, consistent and sustainable retail eye care experience, underscored by the professional care of VSP network doctors,” said Michael Guyette, President and CEO of VSP Global in a statement.
Visionworks President Pete Bridgman will report to Guyette, effective immediately. The retailer will continue to operate independently while VSP Global assesses business integration opportunities during the coming months.
For most of its 65 years, VSP has been known primarily as a vision benefits company; it’s only recently that it has moved directly into physical retailing. VSP opened the first of two Chicago-area Eyeconic stores in June, and the company manages more than two dozen vision care clinics at campuses across the country. The Visionworks deal, however, creates a near-national footprint with one purchase.
While not providing any specifics about future acquisitions, a VSP spokesperson told Retail TouchPoints that “VSP is actively pursuing new retail development, acquisition, joint venture and partnership opportunities that will strengthen our value with benefits managers and limit the ability of other global competitors to strengthen theirs.”