VSP Global makes big move into physical retail; acquires 700-store chain

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VSP Global makes big move into physical retail; acquires 700-store chain

By Marianne Wilson - 10/02/2019
Visionworks Storefront

The nation’s sixth-largest optical retailer has a new owner.

Vision Benefits giant VSP Global has completed the acquisition of Visionworks, which operates more than 700 stores in nearly 40 states. Visionworks will continue to operate independently while VSP reviews “business integration opportunities” in the coming months.

The deal, the single largest VSP network investment in the company’s 65-year history, reflects the blurring lines between health care and retail. It follows the debut of VSP’s first-ever physical location, which opened under the Eyeconic banner in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood. The store is designed to serve as an extension of VSP’s Eyeconic e-commerce site, connecting products, services and a VSP network doctor to retail-minded consumers

"The addition of Visionworks marks a major milestone in VSP Global's 65-year history, supporting our mission of helping people see and keeping us well-positioned to better compete and grow membership in a changing marketplace,” said Michael Guyette, president and CEO of VSP Global. “With the close of this acquisition, we can provide more value to our clients and members and respond to their expectations for a substantial, consistent and sustainable retail eye care experience, underscored by the professional care of VSP network doctors.”

The president of Visionworks, Pete Bridgman, will report to Guyette effective immediately.