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Sunday / June 23.
HomeminewsVocal US Critic Speaks Out About VSP

Vocal US Critic Speaks Out About VSP

Independent optometry practices in Australia were given the opportunity to attend a series of business seminars in February that were presented by Alan Cleinman, President of New York based Cleinman Performance Partners.

Cleinman Performance Partners describes itself as the largest business development company for optometry in the world. The business seminars were sponsored by Hoya.

Mr. Cleinman has been a strong and vocal critic of the arrival of VSP in Australia, because, he said, VSP was interested in nothing more than making “gobs and gobs and gobs of money” and was “no different from LensCrafters” (a wholly owned subsidiary of Luxottica).

He said in the US, private optometry providers were now dependent on VSP delivered patients. “Just 10 years ago, the typical provider was paying about 11 per cent of sales to (VSP) to feed their patient volume ‘habit’… and an 11 per cent cost of sales was a reasonable investment to put ‘butts in seats’.

Now, he said, private providers are paying “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to have these patients delivered to them by VSP, and claimed the mandated rebates had risen to about 50 per cent, which almost completely controlled the practices in its US network.

Mr. Cleinman said with an already established delivery system and online presence, VSP was now developing relationships directly with customers in the US, through the network providers.

He urged optometrists in Australia to “just say no”.

VSP claims its mission statement is the support of independent optical outlets and Ric Steere, Senior Vice President of Global Business Development said that’s exactly what his company, which boasts a multi-million dollar annual revenue and classes itself as not for profit, can do for Australian practices.

Speaking to mivision, he said VSP’s “total package” – that is, VSP’s laboratories, VSP’s eyewear, VSP’s lenses, VSP’s IT solutions and VSP’s business consultants – can help independent optical outlets find a competitive edge.