The reshaping of the U.S. optical industry continued among the industry’s largest retail and ECP group players last year. The 2018 VM Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailer’s Report exclusively assesses 2017 calendar year sales, revealing new positioning among the Top 10 players within 2018’s Top 50 ranking.
Experienced larger players saw organic comp-store sales growth, a respectable performance among those stores with long-time presence in the market—both by players offering a value message and by some of those in the upper-moderate and premium sectors of the market.
Most of the higher concentration of sales among the Top 10 U.S. optical retailers, though, as estimated by VM based on calendar 2017 sales, was due to consolidation that began back in 2015.
There is a now-higher concentration of sales among several companies whose acquisitions are now more visibly comprising larger networks—formed by private-equity acquisitions of regional optical groups as well as many dozens of formerly smaller, independent practices. As PE-backed management groups continue to form, as we saw in 2017, this restructuring is likely to be even more apparent by the end of this year.
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