By Christie Walker

When it comes to selling lenses for children’s eyewear everyone agrees the frame/lens bundle is the way to go. Successful labs create a menu of vision solution bundles and then make it easy for their clients to sell to kids. But if you want to really crack the children’s market nut, you’ll need to help your clients promote and expand their offerings in a number of ways. Check out these tips and best practices from your peers.



Dale Parmenteri, Balester Optical

“Offer frame and lens packages for kids that provide the ECP an opportunity to get the best vision solutions on their patients at an affordable price. Today’s kids are tomorrow’s consumers and they do have considerable buying power. For example, look at how the use of iPhones, iPads, laptops and other HD devices are opening up the opportunity to discuss digital SV products as well. And make sure your ECP has as adequate selection of frames for kids in their dispensary with point-of-purchase to support it, including sunwear. Same applies for polarized displays when speaking of point-of-purchase and educational material for children.”


Tom Risacher, Interstate Optical Company

 “Many labs don’t carry frames anymore and if you really want to be successful you must have the frames and do a package program at a discounted price.”


Heide Mathews, Katz and Klein

“M.D. practices can be golden! Placing a kid’s frame display and an Rxable sport package in the dispensary is a must. Grandparents are a great audience for this. With the right tools in place, Grandparents will refer their family to their “perfect doctor’s office.”


Jeff Szymanski, Toledo Optical

“Like many good wholesale labs, we have created a children’s eyewear package. In order to differentiate ourselves, however, we have successfully promoted a temple engraving component within this package. We know that Moms have two inherent fears when it comes to her kid’s glasses: the glasses will break; the glasses will get lost. By offering to engrave the inside of the temples with the child’s name and phone number for free, we provide our customers with a great sales tool and a way for them to differentiate their practices from other commercial operations.” 



Dale Parmenteri, Balester Optical

“AR point-of-purchase and educational materials do exist that incorporate children’s images. Track them down and get them to your clients. Make sure your clients know that the No-Fault AR scratch warranties of the premium brands support offering AR to all children.”


Jeff Szymanski, Toledo Optical

“Far too often, children’s prescriptions are presented as a base line offering with the erroneous assumption that parents will not want to buy “the good stuff” for their children. We have worked very hard to help our customers better manage the patient process, and to be more efficient at educating the patient—both young and old—about the options we have available to enhance their visual lives.

To emphasize this point and to help drive Transitions sales within the children’s category, we introduced Toledo Optical’s “SPECTRAL MAGIC” campaign three years ago. Within this promotion, we offer free Transitions upgrades, for select prescriptions and then work on changing the behaviors at the dispensing table in order to help our customers see how easy it is to drive a category such as Transitions within the children’s market.

Additionally, as we have introduced more and more durable AR’s within the industry, we have used this standard to promote the use of anti-reflective lenses for children, from a durability standpoint. Like many other labs, we let our customers know that independent testing has proved that our house AR (Acclaro Elite) is three times more scratch resistant than standard coated polycarbonate. With this message gaining traction, we are able to drive a premium product, increase patient satisfaction and drive ECP revenue—all at the same time.” 


Heide Mathews, Katz and Klein

“At Katz and Klein, we include both AR and Transitions on all of our kid’s programs. We offer Trivex and polarized lenses as well. We don’t put limits on our kid’s menus. We stress to our accounts the importance of discussing and giving the parents options for their child. With knowledge, they will make the right choices for their children. We ask our accounts to never assume and always stress protection at an early age. That’s what it’s all about.”


Tom Risacher, Interstate Optical Company

“Non-glare and photochromic lens options are available on all of our kid’s packages. I feel these options get used more when the account does a “Back to School” promotion.”



1.       Create a special section in the dispensary that is physically appealing and fun. Include a kid-size table and chairs with coloring books, or children’s magazines in the waiting area.

2.       Plant “visual seeds” including displaying point-of-purchase materials that show kids wearing frames, sunwear and Transitions.

3.       Offer kid’s packages, Back-to-School specials, and even trunk shows for kids.

4.       Make the experience fun. Make sure that the staff members who are working with the younger patients actually like kids. When you make the kids happy, the parents will be happy, too.

5.       Never assume that a parent won’t want to include AR or sunglasses for their children. Be well-versed in the features and benefits of the frames and lenses as they relate to children. Emphasize protection of developing eyes to talk about issues related to UV and prolonged close-up work on computers and smart phones.

6.       Be creative. Offer a free pair of clip-ons for a straight-A report card or provide special kid’s themed cleaning cloths. Tie in protective eyewear promotions with sports-themed P.O.P. for each season.

7.       Have a section on the practice’s Web site dedicated to children’s eyewear. Include educational articles on the benefits of AR, sunwear, and polycarbonate. This is also a good place to talk about warranties and any eyewear replacement programs they might offer as related to children’s eyewear.


For laboratories that want to grow children’s eyewear sales, the best solution is to help your clients grow their children’s eyewear segment. Protecting young eyes and helping children see more clearly should be an easy sale.


Labtalk June 2020