Founded in 1914, the original New York City location of Sterling Optical doled out frames amid the Ford Model Ts and paperboys that swarmed the city's financial district. The original band of eyesight experts weathered years of economic depression by impressing customers with speedy, full-service vision care, later launching a second store near Washington, DC. Today, a century of steady franchise expansion has given rise to almost 200 store locations in 23 states. Most locations continue the tradition of offering one-stop optical services, giving customers access to exams and onsite labs that manufacture glasses in one hour. The spectacle provider has been named one of the nation's leading franchises by Entrepreneur magazine.
More than 80 years ago, Jack Cohen started selling designer eyewear from a pushcart on Orchard Street. After eight decades, that cart has expanded into more than 100 storefronts whose frames runt the gamut from budget-friendly styles to designer specs from Versace, Fendi, and Calvin Klein. The expert staff helps clients match their glasses to their face shapes and lifestyles. Meanwhile, onsite optometrists dole out prescriptions and screen eyes for diseases such as glaucoma and cat cataracts, which make you only see cats.
As owner Harry Roth says on eyeQ’s website: “We are not here to just sell a pair of glasses, too many other places already do that.” More than three decades of work as an optician give Roth an insight into customer needs, which us uses to deliver personalized, thoughtful service. His clients can arrange private viewings of the store’s designer and boutique frames, or schedule meetings at their homes or offices. Customers can also bring in their current frames for repairs or to be fitted for new lenses. The shop can often do minor repair work for free. Technicians can complete custom fittings in the store’s on-site lab. The lab’s computer-based equipment creates precise lenses quickly, and clients can even commission specialty glasses for tasks such as night driving, computer work, golfing, or looking through eyeglasses catalogs.
Fifty years ago, Pearle Vision was a tiny eyecare practice in Savannah, Georgia, run by Dr. Stanley Pearle. Since then, it's expanded to myriad practices across the country?including this one in Toms River. Helmed by Drs. Randy Nissinoff and Michael Iuliano, the practice outfits eyes with face-flattering designer frames and sunglasses, all with prescription lenses. Each pair comes with 30 days of no-questions returns and a lifetime of free fit adjustments. For extra convenience, the practice also stays open until 8 p.m. on weekdays, so visitors can pop in after work.
Voted the Best Place to Buy Eyewear in 2011 by New Haven Advocate readers, Kennedy & Perkins Guild Opticians focuses gazes and outfits eyes in contemporary designer frames. Owners Richard Kennedy Jr. and J. Dart Messick keep up with the latest face-mounted fashions and airport vending machines by attending eyewear shows from Los Angeles to Milan. Drawing from nearly 1,000 designer frames ($99+), staff frame stylists can suggest styles ideally suited to customers' facial features.
With a licensed doctor of optometry and an optician at each of its two locations, EyeStyles of New Jersey helps turn customers' blurry vision crystal clear. Doctors Lowell S. Davis and Barry E. Davis perform thorough eye examinations before a licensed optician fits customers with their ideal lenses. Fashionable frames from dozens of designers, such as Oakley, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, and Dior, help faces achieve a new look without having to draw on a second set of eyebrows. An onsite lab makes for speedy service and ensures that many patients leave the same day with new glasses.