VSP Global® Announces Expanded Retail Strategy

Developments underscore commitment to meet client expectations, diverse member needs and provide choice of practice settings for Doctors of Optometry

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RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif., March 13, 2019 – Today, VSP Global announced the intent to open three brick-and-mortar Eyeconic® locations as well as the launch of VSP Ventures, a new 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. Additional details will be announced soon.

The three Eyeconic stores will open in the Chicago market throughout 2019 and create new access points for retail-minded consumers who are looking for experiences that bridge the divide between digital and physical. The stores will be an extension of VSP’s ecommerce site, eyeconic.com, connecting products, services and a VSP network doctor to a customer base that is otherwise choosing mass or specialty retail.

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

“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.

“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, O.D., 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.”

Those interested in learning more about VSP’s strategic retail announcements, including Eyeconic and VSP Ventures, can visit www.JustTheFactsVSP.com.

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About VSP Global
VSP Global is a doctor-governed company that exists to create value for members and opportunities for VSP network doctors. Our industry-leading businesses include VSP® Vision Care, the only national not-for-profit vision benefits company, which provides access to eye care for 88 million members through a network of over 40,000 doctors worldwide; Marchon® Eyewear Inc., one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and distributors of high-quality eyewear and sunwear; VSP Optics, industry leaders in ophthalmic technology and lab services, providing custom lens solutions for the vision and lifestyle needs of patients; Eyefinity®, the industry leader in practice management and electronic health record software, and VSP Retail, which focuses on increasing access to eye care and eyewear through multiple channels. Together with VSP network doctors, VSP Global Eyes of Hope® has provided access to no-cost eye care and eyewear for more than two million people in need.

About Eyeconic
Eyeconic seamlessly bridges the digital and physical, combining the health benefits of optometric care with the flexibility of online shopping and the personal touch of in-store experiences. As the first to digitally connect consumers to vision insurance, well-known fashion brands, contact lenses, and a VSP network doctor’s expertise, Eyeconic serves as the only in-network online optical retailer for one out of every five consumers in the United States. Eyeconic is driven by a commitment to advance how eye care and eyewear are delivered through personalization, choice, and well-being, and champions the fact that doctors are at the core of patient eye health. As part of the VSP Global family, Eyeconic is connected to a powerful ecosystem of care that exists to create value for members and opportunities for VSP network doctors.

Media Contact:
Jon Schuller
jonsc@vsp.com
916.851.6331

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