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    Maximizing sunglass sales

    New York City—During a presentation at Vision Expo East, Sharon Carter, ECOC, said every practice has an opportunity to expand its optical sales through promoting sunglass sales.

    Carter argues that everyone needs sunglasses, so every doctor and staff should be recommending sunglasses to every patient.

    Carter believes there is a major opportunity in polarized lenses. While the polarized lenses of the past have had problems with de-lamination, lens thickness inconsistencies, color inconsistencies, and inconsistent availability, manufacturers have developed new technology to eliminate many of those concerns.

    New polarized lenses offer:

    • Better bonding materials

    • Consistency in color

    • Consistency in the placement of the polarizing filter

    • Reduction of haze and glare

    • Increased availability

    • Available in single vision, flat-tops, and progressives

    • 99% UVA, 100% UVB protection

    Carter also encourages providing plano sunglasses. Consumers can buy name-brand frames anywhere, but these sunglasses aren’t always providing the maximum protection that ophthalmic-quality lenses provide. The consumer is giving up benefits when she buys her sunglasses from a non-optical outlet.

    Carter says sunglasses are necessary for children, as well, with 80% of UV exposure occurring before the age of 18. 

    “The lenses in children’s eyes are more transparent than adults, so there is a greater risk for damage in kids than in adults. If you don’t have sunwear for kids availble, that’s shame on you,” she says.

    More tips:

    • Remember benefits, not products

    • Present polarized lenses as the ultimate lens, not a specialty lens

    • Do not assume your patients cannot afford polarized lenses

    • Give patients a demonstration with polarized lenses vs. grey tinted lenses

    • Educate your patients about the benefits

    • Trunk shows can create momentum during a typically slow month

    • Work together as a team to promote sunglass sales

    • Create a sunglass-specific display to draw attention


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    Optometry Times A/V