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SWOT ANALYSIS ON AC Lens

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SWOT ANALYSIS ON AC Lens
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SWOT ANALYSIS ON AC Lens - November 26th, 2010

AC Lens is a privately held company based in Columbus, Ohio that sells contact lenses and vision care products online.
Arlington Contact Lens Service, Inc (AC Lens) was formed in 1995 and launched in 1996 by Dr. Peter Clarkson in the back of an optometrist’s office on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH[1]. AC Lens incorporated in the State of Ohio in 1998. In 2000, AC Lens acquired I-Ohio LLC in an exchange of private stock[2]. AC Lens now operates various websites including USA and United Kingdom based sites. Dr. Clarkson is a graduate of Southampton University in the UK and The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

On February 4, 2004, the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act went into effect. This federal law requires that optical care providers release their patients' prescriptions to them. AC Lens was provided the opportunity to comment and suggest changes to the FTC on March 31, 2004[3]. The final ruling on the law was released by the FTC in July 2004[4]. In October 2004, the FTC released a A Guide for Prescribers and Sellers


Strengths

* High percentage of stores recently remodeled into "Lifestyle" format
* Real estate
* Blackhawk Network (gift card company)
* Private label brands

r
Weaknesses

* Pricing image
* Generally more expensive real estate brings higher expenses
* Markets outside of California historically not performing in line with core market
* Labor unions

Opportunities

* Shopper insights
* Private label development
* Format/store/department innovation
* Blackhawk growth
* Expansion into healthcare services

Threats

* Competition from EDLP/EDLC operators - Tesco, Wal-Mart, Kroger
* Pricing image - how to evolve past that?
* Highly vested in store Lifestyle remodeling program
* Shopper driven programs risk driving too much complexity at store level
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