Are Progressive Lenses Priced Too High?

I was struck by the some numbers in the most recent Vision Council Vision Watch report showing the percentage of progressive lenses sales by household income group. It shows that a disproportionate amount of lower income optical consumers are buying bifocals or trifocals instead of progressives. Are progressive lenses priced too high?

Shouldn’t we be getting as many people into progressive lenses as possible? Pricing should not be so much higher that it makes it too difficult for lower income people to have access to a progressive lens yet I saw from a recent survey that the average add on cost for  progressives vs bifocals from most non-chain optical retailers is $90!

There are plenty of progressive designs available to the lab and retailer at the same price as a tri-focal or even bi-focal lens.  I know for a fact that it can often cost more to purchase a trifocal lens blank than it does to buy a basic design progressive lens blank. There are plenty of other features for that add on sale such as anti-reflective coatings, photochromic, hi-index etc. All of which are great benefit to the consumer. Then there are the newer design and free form progressives all of which offer the opportunity for a premium product sale to those that have the option to spend more and want the newest technology. K-Mars Optical makes their free form KM Explorer very affordable to both the retailer and consumer.

I am not looking to lower the income of the optical retailer, believe me I know how tough it is but I am saying there are options that benefit both sides. How about making that basic progressive design the same price as a bi-focal and tri-focal or at least just a few dollars more?

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