The high profit margin frame program from Marchon and Altair for Healthy Eyes Advantage (HEA) members has allowed HEA Executive Vice President, Professional Strategies Lorie Lippiatt, OD, a private practice owner in Salem, Ohio, to bring additional frames and possibly new frame lines at a great savings into her optical dispensary.
Each quarter, Marchon offers select frame lines with a minimum order of just 25 pieces. “The high profit frame programs usually require large-quantity purchases to get this level of pricing advantage,” says Dr. Lippiatt. “For HEA members, Marchon has dropped the minimum purchase level.”
That’s great news for the practice on several fronts. First, this program includes popular frame lines with an excellent profit margin. In the first quarter of the year, Marchon offered Nautica, Dragon, Nike and Altair offered Bebe sun frames as part of the program. “We have always had Nike, and those do very well for us, but we also ordered Bebe sun frames, bringing in 135 additional frames,” she says. This program also allows her to level the playing field with other major sellers of eyewear.
“There is so much money tied up in an optical. It is critically important that independent eye care professionals understand and track what their top sellers are. We are onboarding HEA SmartData Solution now and will be using this new customized dashboard to manage this and make sure we are leveraging our HEA discounts,” she says.
During the weekly staff meeting, analytics from the SmartData dashboard will be reviewed so everyone knows what the sell-through rate is with the top 10 brands, as well as how many frames the practice ordered and sold that week. “We will look at a month’s data and compare it to the same month the previous year,” she says.
Dr. Lippiatt says that she is happy with the Marchon high profit frame program because Marchon is already a popular line. “Marchon brands are always in our top 10 sellers,” she says. “The frames are consistently high quality and a good price point. Now the frames we add through this program count toward our eligibility as a VSP Premier Program provider.” VSP Premier Program status has been an important, competitive factor for her practice. “It definitely drives patients to our practice because patients have a greater frame allowance here. They’re happy,” she says.
She took advantage of bringing in new Bebe sun frames because doctors and opticians are making a strong push to recommend quality sunwear for eye protection and overall eye health. “A lot of optical dispensaries do not have a big presence with sunwear, so it’s not on the patients’ minds. If there are only 10 or 12 sun frames, that’s not going to grab a patient’s attention,” she says.
But with this opportunity to expand the presence of sunwear without as large a capital outlay, she’ll be able to bring sunwear front and center. “We are focused on sun protection and blue light protection, so we have a focal point on sunwear in the optical, and we feature digital displays that talk about the importance of UV protection. We have an area strictly dedicated to sunwear, and then we also intersperse sunglasses with the ophthalmic brands to bring greater awareness that these are available.”
Dr. Lippiatt says she looks forward to the frame lines that Marchon features next in this promotion. “We don’t know what they will be, but we’re ready to buy them when we can. It’s a great way to bring in more frames or new frame lines to help keep the dispensary fresh and profitable.”
For more details on the exclusive Marchon and Altair ‘High Margin’ Programs for HEA members, call 800.959.2020.