Wiley X offers a full line of tactical and high-velocity impact eyewear (Guard shown here).

Offering niche products can set you apart from the crowd.

Remaining at the top of the optical game requires dedication, precision, and a touch of creativity. In addition to the tried-and-true methods that have brought many eyecare professionals (ECPs) success, there is always a steady stream of new products to consider promoting next. These new products allow us to increase our eyewear margins and profits through their retailing opportunities. One big strategy is to heavily promote trendy niche eyewear segments that others are not offering. If done correctly, it’s a powerful business builder.

Consider carrying durable frames that appeal to your local police, fire, and military personnel. They are often searching for highly durable frames that are lightweight and hold up to the rigors of their daily work life responsibilities. Companies like Wiley X Eyewear offer a full line of tactical and high-velocity impact eyewear to meet the demands of these patients. Wiley X has also been perfecting shatterproof eyewear for the challenging environments our fighting forces encounter for more than 20 years. The company is a major supplier of tactical and assault high-velocity protective eyewear for hundreds of U.S. armed forces units.

The majority of the line features sleek designs that are blended with comfort and durability. In addition to tactical applications, Wiley’s eyewear can also be recommended to motorcyclists, racing enthusiasts, and other eyeglass wearers living a rugged lifestyle.


Hilco’s Leader xRx swim goggle for adults and juniors is designed to accommodate a wide range of Rx’s.

Whether you have patients who are competitive swimmers or who are just into taking a relaxing paddle across the pool, they are all perfect candidates for swim goggles. A good set of goggles will allow the swimmer to see better underwater while also providing the eyes with a defense from chlorine and other chemicals and leakage. Hilco’s Leader xRx swim goggle for adults and juniors is designed to accommodate a wide range of Rx’s from +20.00D to -20.00D. The adult goggle is available in blue and black; junior size comes in blue and pink.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE ‘CHEMISTRIE’ For those who have a finishing lab with a computer-guided drill, check out Chemistrie Eyewear from Eyenavision. Using your edger, you can make a custom magnetic clip-on for any frame in your store. What makes this product unique is how it can easily be customized to a wide array of options ranging from solid polarized lenses to fashion polarized gradients to mirrored versions and even clear readers ranging from +.50D to +2.50D. Through the use of the very small micro magnets that are imbedded into the outer periphery of a set of lenses, you can easily craft and attach a custom sun lens in any one of the 24 color shade options to nearly any frame. It’s the epitome of customized clip-ons.

Many of your clientele may benefit from having a pair of safety frames for their occupation or favorite weekend hobby such as metal or woodworking. Safety eyewear is an often overlooked eyewear market by ECPs and can return attractive rewards.

Keep in mind that many employers require their employees to wear safety glasses on the job and what better way to score a second pair sale than by selling a set in addition to a new dress pair? There are many manufacturers who offer safety eyewear such as Uvex® (Sperian Optical Protection, Inc.) and Wolverine (Kenmark Group).

As the weather gets warmer, patients become more active with many taking up organized team sports as well as solo weekend warrior activities. This is a perfect opening to recommend and promote a line of protective sports eyewear to them. Wearing the proper level of protection for their sport may prevent injury to their eyes while also offering enhanced performance. Collections like Liberty Sports’ Protective Sports Eyewear and Sport Sun Performance line offers both prescription and nonprescription frame options to meet a wide array of needs and users from the youngest teeball player up to the seasoned cyclist veteran.


Zeal’s HD Camera goggle provides a built-in 1080P HD video camera for ski/board aficionados wanting to share their memories on the mountain.

Skiers and snowboarders are often passionate about their sport and will spend a substantial amount of money on their equipment and clothing, even though they may only use it a few times a year. This crowd expects more technology with their eyewear protection and you can wow them by helping them find their next set of goggles that packs some serious technology.

Zeal Optics has unveiled the HD Camera goggle which provides a built-in 1080P HD video camera for ski/board aficionados wanting to share their memories on the mountain. The device lets them film their run while the viewfinder lets them see a small screen inside the goggle for replay, positioning, video, and temperature. Additional features include an anti-fog, impact-resistant shield visor that is also mirror-treated on the front to provide additional protection from the sun.


An interchangeable lens system, as in adidas’ adivista, allows users to wear lenses best suited to their environment.

One complaint about sunglasses is that their fixed tint often is not ideal for all the uses for which a person might want them. While a photochromic lens improves this situation, the optimum solution is an interchangeable lens system. This way, the user can wear the lenses that best suit their current situation. This kind of sunwear is ideal for most people, although most are not aware of its availability.

adidas’ adivista from Silhouette Optical, Ltd. combines easy Rx Ready™ technology and the company’s proprietary LST™ lenses for varying light conditions. It is available in two sizes featuring double snap nose bridge™ and tri fit temples™ for a custom fit and comes in SPX ™.


The Road Machine from Marchon’s Nike Sport is one of the lightest running frames on the market.

Passionate runners are always trying to better their track time, increase their training, and often are in the market to improve their road gear. Work this niche by supplying sunwear that provides fit, comfort, coverage, and light weight. Nike Sport (by Marchon Eyewear) specializes in running sunwear with its latest Road Machine sunglass that incorporates laser-cut holes to improve ventilation and decrease fog and optics which provide a wide field of view. It features a soft rubber inlay for the nosepad and temple comfort, provides 100% UVA and UVB protection, and is one of the lightest running frames on the market.

Making big profits can sometimes be found in small places. Look for niches you can concentrate on to improve your business—sometimes it’s the little things that count.

Francis Gimbel, Jr. is a licensed optician and owner of Gimbel Eye Associates in Wayne, PA.


adidas eyewear
800-626-8684 •

888-321-3939 •

800-955-6544 •

Kenmark Group
800-627-2898 •

Liberty Sport
800-444-5010 •

Marchon Eyewear
800-645-1300 •

Sperian Optical Protection, Inc.
800-446-1802 •

Wiley X Eyewear
800-776-7842 •

Zeal Optics

888-454-9325 •



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