10 reasons why ophthalmologists should sell sunwear

January 15, 2006

Sunwear is huge business – Sunwear is a $3 billion business and growing rapidly. More than 80% of Americans own at least one pair of sunglasses.

1. Sunwear is huge business – Sunwear is a $3 billion business and growing rapidly. More than 80% of Americans own at least one pair of sunglasses.

2. Revenue growth – Because managed care is a big part of a practice, revenue per patient has been dropping. Selling sunwear is an opportunity to reverse this trend. Selling only four pairs per week at an average of $120 brings in an additional $25,000 in revenue.

3. Missed opportunity – In the past, eye-care professionals largely left this business with the department stores and the sunglass specialty chains. Many department stores experienced 50% increases in 2005.

5. It's a year-round business – Although sunwear sales peak in the spring and summer months, it is a year-round business. The actual need for sunwear is greater during the winter due to the angle of the sun, resulting in additional glare.

6. It is a very lucrative, high-end business – The fastest-growing segment in sunwear is toward the high end. Seventy-five percent of prescription sunwear sales in an eye-care professional's practice were more than $200, with 31% more than $300. The average price overall of ophthalmic eyewear is $251.00. In many cases, sunwear sales will be higher, in both plano and prescription.

7. Add new patients – Sunwear is an excellent strategy for expanding your patient base. People love their sunwear and will discuss it with their friends and family. This can upgrade and expand your services.

8. Failed in the past? – Partner with a leading manufacturer, such as Safilo USA. You will have access to a proven product line and a new approach to marketing sunwear. Besides, Safilo USA derives nearly 50% of its revenue from sunwear.

9. It's cool – Sunwear sales is a "fun" business. Consumers are not always excited about having to wear ophthalmic frames. But watch them light up as they try on your selection of shades.

10. Why should you promote sunwear? – By not committing to sunwear, you are missing a critical element of total eyecare for your patients. Many long-term eye diseases are being attributed to overexposure to harmful UV radiation. Most Americans understand the effect of the sun on the skin, but few realize the effect on the eyes. Also, one of the most sensitive areas for skin cancer is around the eyes. Patients expect doctors to educate them on these dangers.