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Essilor Of America To Offer E-business Solutions For Ecps With Endorsement From The Aoa

By Essilor News

06/26/2009

DALLAS – (June 26, 2009) – Essilor of America, Inc., the nation’s leading manufacturer of optical lenses, today announces that they will offer an AOA endorsed e-commerce solution for independent eye care professionals (ECPs) to provide optical products online to their current and future patients.

In a recent ECP Internet Usage & Attitude Study, Essilor and Jobson Optical Research found that many ECPs believe online purchasing is a growing trend in the eyecare industry. The research also indicated that ECPs felt they were ill-equipped to meet this challenge alone.

“It was quite clear from our research that an industry solution was necessary, so Essilor quickly went to work on solutions that could provide an online option to extend an ECPs existing practice beyond the traditional brick and mortar,” said Howard Purcell, O.D., F.A.A.O., Dipl., vice president, customer development for Essilor.

Throughout the research process, Essilor and the AOA have been in discussions about this growing need in the industry and the potential solutions to benefit optometrists.

“This online marketplace solution will be of great benefit to the members of AOA and will help position our doctors to better serve patients in the 21st century,” said Peter H. Kehoe, O.D., American Optometric Association (AOA) president. “We are pleased to support Essilor’s efforts to pave the way for doctors of optometry to expand their businesses through the Internet marketplace. Essilor is leading the industry to provide an online dispensary solution for optometrists, and we at the AOA look forward to providing guidance and support as this initiative continues to develop.”

After an exhaustive search, Essilor chose FramesDirect.com to help power this initiative. Unlike virtually every other online industry player, FramesDirect.com, has been a successful online optical business since 1996, when it was founded by optometrists Dhavid Cooper, O.D. and Guy Hodgson, O.D., and provides a model that is consistent with our industry’s high standard of care.

“As eyecare professionals ourselves, we are extremely proud to be associated with Essilor and this initiative,” said Dhavid Cooper, O.D., M.S., CEO and co-founder of FramesDirect.com. “This partnership culminates a vision we’ve had for years to fully equip the optical industry with the tools to be successful online. This initiative allows ECPs the opportunity to participate in the online space with their own full-service e-commerce site, leveraging the experience, technology and expertise FramesDirect.com has successfully developed since 1996.”

With this announcement, Essilor is entering into a beta test with several practices starting in July to further refine and develop this solution. Future plans for expansion will be contingent upon the results of this test and its success in the market.

Any comments or questions about this Internet initiative should be addressed to TellHoward@essilorusa.com.

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Essilor is the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States and is the market leader in progressive, high-index and anti-reflective coated lenses. A pioneer in the development and production of ophthalmic lenses, Essilor employs more than 9,000 people throughout North America. Essilor manufactures optical lenses under the Varilux®, Crizal®, Thin&Lite®, Xperio™ and DEFINITY® and other Essilor brand names. Essilor Laboratories of America (ELOA) is the largest, and most trusted, optical lab network in the U.S. and offers a wide choice of services and lens brands, including Essilor premium lenses, to eye care professionals across the nation. Essilor of America, Inc. (Essilor) is a subsidiary of Paris-based Essilor International, S.A., a publicly held company traded on the Euronext Paris stock exchange (Reuters: ESSI.PA).


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Varilux, Crizal, and DEFINITY are registered trademarks and Xperio is a trademark of Essilor International. Thin&Lite is a registered trademark of Essilor of America, Inc.

About the American Optometric Association (AOA)
The American Optometric Association represents more than 36,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and paraoptometric assistants and technicians. Optometrists serve patients in nearly 6,500 communities across the country, and in 3,500 of those communities are the only eye doctors.

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