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    What you need to know about the Essilor-Luxottica deal


    According to The New York Times, the deal brings together two of the industry’s largest players, with Luxottica having 14 percent market share and Essilor having 13 percent share. For comparison, the next largest player in the industry is Johnson & Johnson with a 3.9 percent share.

    Look to opportunity

    Howard Purcell, OD, FAAO, senior vice president of customer development at Essilor of America, told Optometry Times he understands that a deal of this magnitude has raised many questions and concerns within the eyecare community—but he hopes ODs will think of the opportunities it presents.

    He says EssilorLuxottica gives vision—the industry and the subject matter—a louder voice in the role it plays globally, not only in people’s ability to see but in their ability to contribute to their families by being able to work.

    “When I first heard this, it was ‘wow’ for me, too,” he says. “I’ve had more time to think about it than others have. Now, I’m imagining the possibilities.”

    Examples of possibility include:

    • Improving supply-chain management

    • Bringing innovation to frames and lenses to improve patient experience

    • Escalating engagement with premium products, programs such as Think About Your Eyes, and consumer awareness for eye exams

    “This deal does not change Essilor’s support of the independent eyecare professional,” Dr. Purcell says.

    Related: 6 financial challenges ODs will face in 2017

    What the deal means for you now

    Speculation abounds regarding what the deal will mean for eyecare providers. EssilorLuxottica will have a large market share in most aspects of eye care, from retail optical to managed vision care to frames to lenses to labs and more.

    But industry experts we spoke with say that it will be a long time before changes will have real impact.

    “These things take time—it’s like two huge ships. They can’t turn overnight,” says Dr. Rumpakis.

    Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member Bryan Rogoff, OD, MBA, predicted big consolidation moves in 2017 in our “6 financial challenge ODs will face in 2017” story published just last week. He says he saw Luxottica’s cost-cutting measures over the last year and expected a deal of some sort was in the works—but he didn’t expect this.

    Related: States fighting to advance optometry

    While it evokes a lot of emotions in the eyecare community, he says the deal probably won’t mean change in day-to-day business for ODs. Due to the sheer size and breadth of the companies involved, the deal is expected to take months to finalize and full integration will likely take years.

    Colleen E. McCarthy
    Colleen McCarthy is a freelance writer based in the Cleveland area and a former editor of Optometry Times. She is a 2010 graduate of the ...


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