Sure we sell glasses and buy them in
great quantities from companies who announce with great
fanfare when they land a cool name to market them (They pay
for these designer names and said designer named usually had
little to do with the actual designing). Have you ever
noticed they are all the same generic styles with different
names on them? Of course there are some really creative ones
by the top names like J.F. Rey, Little Colette, etc., but
unless you live or work in a place where the wealthy reside,
you don’t sell a lot of those.
Kids less than 14 years old represented
15 percent of most ECP’s customer base in 2011, the same
as in 2010. Children’s eyewear and related products also
accounted for 15 percent of total gross dollar sales for
most ECP’s—the same as it has since 2008. Also according
to a 2011 survey, 47 percent of the reporting retailers said
their average children’s complete eyewear retail sale per
patient has increased in the past year versus five years
ago. About 8 percent indicated a decline. Interestingly, the
median retail sale ($129) for kids’ frames (excluding
exams, lenses and lens treatments) has remained the same
since 2009 for most.
On the other hand, the median retail
price for children’s spectacle lenses, which remained
steady at $100 between 2006 and 2009, climbed to $105
in 2010 and rose again this year to $110, probably because
more parents are allowing A/R and Transitions treatments on
So it does pay to discuss lifestyle
issues and lens options, also sport glasses, and sunglasses.
Of course at a minimum all our kids get poly – and we
introduce them to Trivex as our lens of choice. In these
tough economic times most young parents are very concerned
with money – so our recommendations are not always
followed. We find most of our school age kids are slaves to
branding even though the frames may be generic in style –
wilder colors and cute shapes do better on preschool kids
(before peer pressure gets to them).
Frames with demonstratable product
features are selling best – things like Flexon frames, or
Aspex frames with Turbo Flex hinges, or tough sports frames
by Liberty, Leader, and Julbo and great little frames from
Menizzi, Bongo, and Guess Kids.
But I digress, what do the kids tell us?
“Poppa, we love all your frames!” “But
kids, how do you feel about glasses on other kids at school?”
“Well…it depends if we like the person, if we like them
we like their glasses, if we don’t…well!”
“So it depends, hmmm?” “Yup, when
can we wear glasses – can we have them with no
prescription?” “Sure – anything you like!”
I believe in not spoiling my
granddaughters – well maybe just a little!