Eye Care Professionals

Vision Expo’s Mood Is Buoyant

10/09/2010 0 Comments

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Business News

LAS VEGAS—Although the optical industry is still recovering from the recession, a palpable sense of energy and excitement pervaded the Sands Convention Center here Thursday and Friday.

Vision Expo West attendees filled classrooms and crowded the exhibit hall, drawn by Expo’s unique mix of fashion, technology and medical products. Those attendees VM spoke to on the main show floor and at the Galleria conveyed that retailers were open to fresh style ideas and that their investments were loosening up compared to the earlier part of the year.

"On-site attendance figures continue to be strong. As of Friday afternoon we've verified that attendance is 14 percent higher than 2009," said Tom Loughran, vice president of Reed Exhibitions. "Exhibitors are reporting increased sales over past shows and quality leads, a good sign for a healthy show."

Don Howard, president/CEO, Kenmark Group, commented, “Our booth has been consistently busy since the start of this show, and people are buying, not just looking, said. “Several retailers have told me September was a very refreshing month for them; our company also finished September ahead of last year. The retailers and ECPs I’ve talked to here all seem upbeat, although it’s possible that the ones who aren’t doing well just didn’t come to the show. Generally they’re saying what has become almost a cliché: the middle segment of the market has evaporated, with all eyewear sales moving to the low or high end. But even at the high end, these retailers are being a little thriftier in what they’re buying.”

Retailers agreed that business is bouncing back. “Our business overall has been good—we were above last year through August, though September was a little soft. But all in all, I can’t complain; it’s been a good year,” said Diana Hall, president, Bard Optical, Peoria, Ill.

To read a digital version of Today's Vision Expo Show Daily, sponsored by Altair, go to the Vision Monday website. For other Expo-related coverage, including photos of the day's events, go to the Vision Expo West tab on VisionMonday.com.

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