Editors Note


Opportunity Knocks vs. Knocking OPportunity

I’ve never had a yearning desire to be any sort of peacemaker within my chosen career as an opti-scribe. Until now.

I love taking a gamble on predicting retailing and product trends. The idea of nurturing fresh thought and daring initiatives has always appealed to me. And the challenge of new perspectives on style and lifestyle as it relates to our shared optisphere is paramount to my perceived self-position.

But blessed by being a participant in one of the few retail environments rooted deeply in the grass roots formula of individual initiative (once heralded, though now vanished, as mom-and-pop shops in everything from sporting goods to home appliances), it irks me that in a time when the future looks brighter than ever, the scenario might be plagued by some nearly indefinable in-fighting and polarization.

I know full well there are many in the optical profession threatened by the onslaught of online eyewear retailing. And there are hordes bent on setting up a them- vs.-us scenario when it comes to independent shops threatened by big and small chain game plans. This same growl extends in volume when it comes to the case of dispensing within a medical plan or totally WITHOUT any managed care structure.

Getting even more “basic,” some are hungry strictly for heritage eyewear branding (dubbed Our Eyewear in 20/20) while others need and feed on the consumer’s need for designer and lifestyle branding.

Want more potential polarizing? Expensive luxury eyewear vs. conservatively-priced specs. Sport niche supporters. Over-the-counter reader ships.

You name it and there is an opportunity (or lack of) that can glare division in a rich optical arena that should, in fact, be proud of the reality of independent eyewear providers numbering nearly half (and GROWING!) of the dispensing situations facing the consumer/customer/patient in quest of vision care in this country.

And rather than duke it out, the time is ripe to grasp opportunity and a sense of professional purpose to avail what I’m positive amounts to an upcoming boom in the world of vision care services and vision-related products.

January of any year always feels like a great time to get “fresh” with determination. But the trick is keeping that resolve in a positive and nurturing light. Consider THAT 20/20’s resolution for 2015: Presenting a place and pace of position where all of our readership players can correct, connect and SEE what I’m sure is the brightest future yet.

James J. Spina

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