VSP Global, a vision benefits company providing eye care to 88 million members through a network of 40,000 providers, is moving into brick-and-mortar eyewear retailing. The company plans to open three Eyeconic locations in Chicago in 2019 to serve as physical extensions of the VSP e-Commerce site. Locations and other details of the shops will be revealed in the coming months.
“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 a statement. “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 Eyeconic store will be wholly owned and operated by VSP, with a sublease model for VSP network doctors. VSP chose the Chicago area after market research showed that it had high numbers of out-of-network claims at optical chains and mass retailers.
“Our goal is to create more opportunities for doctors,” said Michael Guyette, President and CEO of VSP Global in a statement. “Without a strategic retail footprint, we risk closing the door on key clients, as well as the 20% of consumers who are choosing retail and even online-based eyewear stores over private practice.”
VSP also is launching VSP Ventures, a new business unit that will facilitate practice transitions for doctors looking to retire or evolve to a different model.
“Benefits managers are demanding more substantial retail options and doctors have been asking VSP to create a doctor-centric alternative to private equity,” said Guyette. “It’s critical for VSP to ensure this evolving landscape serves both our members and VSP network doctors in mutually beneficial ways.”
- StellaService Raises $11 Million, Sells Off Mystery Shopping Solution
- Warby Parker Harnesses AR Technology To Create 3D Eyewear Previews
- NRF Preview: Execs From Macy’s, Kroger, Lowe’s and Alibaba Headline Must-See Sessions
- RSP Series: How Retail Leaders Improve Customer Acquisition And Retention
- Exclusive Q&A: Explosive Growth Of Direct Brands Reveals Seismic Retail Shift
Latest from Adam Blair
- #RIC19: Why Brands Should Strive For ‘Irrational Loyalty’ From Shoppers
- JCPenney Names Target Veteran To Top Customer Spot
- Exclusive Chris Walton Q&A: 4 Technologies That Target Retail Pain Points
- Kohl’s Expands Online Sports Merchandise Assortment With Fanatics Deal
- Lamps Plus Deploys Omnichannel-Enabled POS