Lenses & Technology: L&T New Products


Look Sharp







Look Sharp
Great retail design is key to connecting with customers
By Jackie Micucci

Looks do matter. And looking sharp is one way dispensers can set themselves apart not just from fellow optical retailers but from all retailers as well. A well-designed, well-displayed, well-organized store invites the customer to spend some time and then some money.

For example, you may think consumers take it for granted, but point-of-purchase items such as countercards, brochures, demonstration kits and posters help merchandise and sell products. They play an important part in telling your patients/customers about the products you carry and how they function, which is why many dispensers see POP items as an important ingredient in their practices’ recipe for success.

In fact, more than half of the respondents to 20/20’s Retail Design Survey 2005 say display items were at least “somewhat useful” for their practice. Specifically, the vote of importance went to brochures (72.8 percent), countercards (69.4 percent) and demonstration kits (41.7 percent).

Other key findings from our survey include a majority of retailers combining their waiting room with the dispensary, thus allowing more browsing time, and allocating separate space to the all-important kids’ market.


How would you describe your location's targat market(s)?

Of the total number of frames displayed, what percentage are:

POP Life
Point-of-purchase materials reign supreme and can play double duty as a sales associate when they are informative and creative.

The majority of practitioners still rely mainly on manufacturer supplied POP—83.2 percent is provided by vendors with 15 percent of display materials provided by the practitioners themselves. However, 35.9 percent of dispensers say they do create some of their own POP items.

Besides brochures, countercards and demonstration kits, other manufacturer supplied materials used by ECPs include spin racks (40 percent) and videos (12.8 percent). Premium items—such as T-shirts, perfume, handbags and books—account for 11.1 percent. Of the 8.8 percent who use “other” POP items, mentioned were frame information cards, magazines, mats, posters and wall racks.

When asked what types of product display items as well as promotional and educational materials that they’d like to have available but currently don’t, ECPs cited such things as more store front and window displays, more lens information, contact lens information, new tint displays, more information on ocular diseases and wall mount displays.

Practitioners do see the value in display materials, with 56 percent of ECPs viewing POP items as “somewhat useful” and 29 percent saying they are “very useful.” Only 15 percent say POP is “not useful.”
Lenses are an important part of the mix for our surveyed dispensaries. Practitioners devote 12 percent of display space to spectacle lenses and lens-related information.

Is your waiting room area incorporated into your dispensary area?

Of the total number of frames displayed, what percentage are:

Laying in Wait
Patients waiting for an exam are a captive audience and ECPs are capitalizing on that factor. The majority—62 percent—of the Os have their waiting room in the dispensing area. This gives their patients an opportunity to do some optical browsing, displaying both product and educational materials, which allows them to learn more about the frames, lenses and other services offered by the practice.

Popular items displayed in the waiting room include brochures and educational materials (88 percent), posters and countercards of models in eyewear (69 percent), optical industry publications, such as 20/20, (64 percent) and actual product (34 percent).Only 4 percent used “other” display items, such as flat screen TVs, mirrors and plaques.

Product, Product, Product
As always, frame boards remain the most utilized means of displaying eyewear mostly for their capacity to showcase a large amount of product. Of the total number of frames displayed, 79.9 percent go on boards. Display cases were a distant second at 13.4 percent and only 1.7 percent of frames are displayed in store-front windows. “Other” items—including counters, tables, racks and stands—account for 5.1 percent of product placement.

When frames are displayed on those boards, the survey found it is most often categorized by gender (68.7 percent). Next up is sunwear (57.4 percent) followed by designer/brand names (49.7 percent), sport (29.7 percent) and color (11.3 percent).

Where is your practice located?

Approximately how many frame units do you have in your inventory?


The Kids are Alright
Catering to kids, and catering to them properly, is a good way to boost the bottom line of a practice. Of those surveyed, an overwhelming 83.8 percent dedicate a separate section for children (ages two to 14). To attract young patients and their parents, ECPs are setting up kids’ spaces that include a variety of items. Books (53.5 percent), toys (47.3 percent) and a play area (43 percent) are the most common elements in the “kids’ corner.” Child-size furniture is in 24.8 percent of children’s display spaces. DVDs and videos complete the section at 4.8 percent. Be it the waiting room area or the kids’ corner, making the dispensary look sharp with good displays and fun and functional POP can help optical retailers stand apart from all retailers.


20/20’s Retail Design Survey 2005 was conducted in June of 2005 by Jobson Optical Research’s in-house research staff. The sample of 197 independent optical retailers was derived from the proprietary Jobson Optical Research Database. All participants were contacted by phone and asked a series of structured interview questions. No incentive was offered.

To ensure consistency in results, all surveys were conducted during the same May time period and followed the same methodology. Where available, three-year comparisons of survey results are provided. The analysis represents historical data and might reflect seasonal market fluctuations.

—Jennifer Zupnick & Ashley Young
Jobson Optical Research