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Third Annual OPTImum Retail Award Open for Submissions

Deadline is Feb. 7.




(PRESS RELEASE) ALEXANDRIA, VA – Vision Expo East 2020 announces the third annual OPTImum Retail Award is accepting submissions from independent boutique retailers. The OPTImum Retail Award aims to celebrate independent boutique retailers by allowing them to showcase their products, stores, visions and stories to the optical industry.

Businesses in the independent retail market are encouraged to submit their stories for consideration by Feb. 7. Applicants are asked to share their in-store innovations, individuality, culture, brand loyalty and technology usage. Last year’s winner, Edward Beiner (South Miami, Fla.), received the award based on its dedication to providing customers a meaningful experience through innovative initiatives including the Eyes Forward vision, designed to promote wisdom, passion and foresight by educating customers and instilling a sense of pride into purchases. The award also coincided with the release of an exclusive collection of 3D-printed eyewear designed by Edward Beiner.

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“It was an honor to receive the 2019 OPTImum Retail Award at last year’s Vision Expo East,” said Edward Beiner, founder of a collection of optical boutiques in Florida and 2019 OPTImum Retail Award recipient. “I am constantly inspired by the incredible community of independent boutique retailers in the vision community. I look forward to seeing the original and creative ideas put forward this year and wish all the entrants the best of luck in the 2020 OPTImum Retail Award competition.”

To determine the top three finalists, a committee of the industry’s top leaders will deliberate and vote on which retailers they feel are most deserving of the award. This year’s committee members include Dr. Arian Fartash, optometrist and influencer of @glamoptometrist; Christian Roth, eyewear designer and the first Council of Fashion Designers of America member in the eyewear category since 1990; and James Spina, 20/20 Magazine editor-in-chief and senior vice president.

Three finalists will be announced on Feb. 21. To determine the final winner, Vision Expo social media channels will be opened for voting from Feb. 21–March 6 to be factored into the judges’ scores. The 2020 OPTImum Retail Award winner will be announced at Vision Expo East during the Independence @ The Creative Edge panel on March 28.

All independent boutique retailers are encouraged to submit their application by Feb. 7. To submit your application or to find out more information, visit


Vision Expo East kicks off in The River, one of three new neighborhoods being introduced at Vision Expo East 2020, on March 26, one day earlier than the general Exhibit Hall. Education at Vision Expo will take place March 26–29, while the general Exhibit Hall is open March 27–29.

For more Vision Expo East updates, follow along on all of Vision Expo’s social media channels, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.



Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

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