By JOSH ROBINSON
Whether you are an optometrist or an investor who is intrigued by the healthcare industry, optical franchises present a great opportunity in cities across Canada.
“What’s great about the optical industry is that we’re at the intersection of healthcare and retail, which is really advantageous for a number of reasons,” says Alex Wilkes, general manager of Pearle Vision. “More often than not, we’re more recession-proof than traditional retail. We are not as susceptible to some of the other challenges of retail, such as e-commerce. We provide a service that customers and patients want and need. And we help patients see better and live fuller lives.”
There is a tremendous market opportunity in Canada. In 2017, Canadians spent C$4.8 billion ($3.62 billion USD), or 2 percent of healthcare spending, on vision services, according to the Canadian Institute of Health Information. Sixty percent of Canadians report vision problems that require, at minimum, corrective lenses, and an aging population means an aging workforce for whom clear vision is a priority.
Here are four reasons why you should consider investing in an optical franchise in Canada:
The startup costs for a Pearle Vision franchise are low, while the opportunity is great.
At minimum, a Pearle Vision licensed owner, or franchisee, must have C$132,371 ($100,000 USD) in liquid capital and a net worth of C$397,115 ($300,000 USD). Startup costs for a Pearle Vision EyeCare Center range from C$528,743 to C$799,397 ($399,439-$603,904 USD).
According to Pearle Vision’s U.S. Franchise Disclosure Document (May 2019): The average annual revenue for a U.S. Pearle Vision EyeCare Center owned by an optometrist is C$1.583 million ($1.183 million USD); the average annual revenue for a U.S. Pearle Vision EyeCare Center that subleases space to an optometrist is C$1.19 million ($890,000 USD); and the average annual revenue for a U.S. Pearle Vision EyeCare Center that employs an optometrist is C$1.773 million ($1.325 million USD).
The need for good health is a constant. As people age, vision care becomes more critical and they are more likely to require glasses or contact lenses. Healthcare needs such as eye exams and corrective lenses do not vary as the economy ebbs and flows.
Valuable Supply Chain
An advantage of affiliating with a larger corporation is access to an established supply chain. Pearle Vision has more than 500 EyeCare Centers across North America, providing the brand strong buying power that yields deep discounts from vendors. Because Pearle Vision is owned by Luxottica, Pearle’s licensed owners have access to some of the industry’s most fashionable and popular eyewear brands, including Ray-Ban, Persol and Oakley.
Optical franchises such as Pearle Vision have business models that are designed to be scalable. Pearle Vision’s licensed owners can operate multiple locations, and the brand offers exclusive territorial rights in exchange for an area development agreement in which a licensed owner commits to opening multiple EyeCare Centers in a certain area.
The optical industry is an ideal niche for investors who may be interested in a healthcare franchise, and Pearle Vision is one of the largest franchised optical retailers in North America. To learn more about the Pearle Vision franchise opportunity, visit ownapearlevision.com or call 1-800-PEARLE-1.
Josh Robinson is vice president of licensing & development of Pearle Vision and is responsible for defining and developing business strategies to grow the Pearle Vision franchise system. Robinson joined Pearle Vision in 2012 and previously oversaw the franchise store operations team in the Eastern United States, Eastern Canada and Puerto Rico as a territory vice president. He has more than 20 years of experience supporting franchisees and helping them optimize the performance of their businesses. Before joining Pearle Vision, he was senior director of operations for Dunkin’ Brands.