Pearle Vision’s Ignite Program Gains Traction As More Independent Optometry Practices Look to Convert
August 05, 2020 // Franchising.com // MASON, Ohio - Pearle Vision’s Ignite program has gained significant traction as eye care professionals increasingly look for alternatives to acquisition by private equity groups or large regional groups.
Launched in 2018, Ignite allows independent optometry practice owners to retain control of their business while gaining infrastructure from Pearle Vision to help strengthen their business.
“We are seeing a lot of interest in the Ignite program, both from current franchisees and those outside our system,” said Alex Wilkes, general manager of Pearle Vision. “The interest in Pearle right now is twofold. More people are exploring franchising and seeking to control their own destiny while unemployment is high, coupled with our being in healthcare and our business being designated essential during the pandemic. These factors make the opportunity to join Pearle Vision even more attractive.”
To date, five practices have completed conversion to Pearle Vision EyeCare Centers. Seven more independent practices are converting this year: two in Lexington and Versailles, Kentucky, owned by Dr. John Womack; four in Las Vegas owned by Dr. Kenneth Kopolow and Dr. Sefir Girisgen; and one in Rock Hill, South Carolina, owned by Joel Jennings, a current Pearle Vision licensed owner. An eighth practice is under contract.
“We have a solid pipeline of independent practices that are considering Ignite,” Wilkes said. “With an Ignite conversion, less capital is required because you don’t have a build out a new store. That also means you can open your doors as a Pearle Vision sooner.”
Ignite allows optometry practice owners to remain independent while benefiting from Pearle Vision’s processes, systems and support, including the brand’s proprietary operating system, “eyecon.” Eyecon encompasses patient information, sales records, inventory management, insurance and billing support and the point-of-sale system. Optometrists appreciate the infrastructure that Pearle Vision provides because it allows them to spend more time with patients.
Some of the benefits of Ignite include:
- After conversion, the franchise owner pays royalties only on incremental sales of eyewear.
- The optometrist retains professional fees collected, such as eye exam revenue, with no royalties assessed.
- The Pearle Vision supply chain provides access to popular, fashionable eyewear brands, often at a negotiated discount because of Pearle Vision’s strong buying power.
- A converted practice also has access to competitive prices for top-quality exam equipment.
- A converted practice gains greater visibility in their market through Pearle Vision’s nationwide consumer marketing program and 80% brand name recognition.
About Pearle Vision
Pearle Vision was founded in 1961 by Dr. Stanley Pearle, who began the concept of one-stop, total eye care with the opening of the Pearle Vision Center in Savannah, Ga. Dr. Pearle combined complete eye exams with an extensive selection of eyewear. In 1981, Pearle Vision began offering franchise opportunities to select doctors and opticians. Today, with more than 500 EyeCare Centers located throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, Pearle Vision is built around a doctor-centered business model with a primary focus to deliver genuine eye care to patients and become the neighborhood trusted source for all their eye care and eye wear needs. Pearle Vision is owned by Luxottica, a leader in premium fashion, luxury and sports eyewear.
SOURCE Pearle Vision
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