This is a guest blog post written by Mac MacDermaid,
Marketing Specialist for Stokas-Bieri Real Estate.

Occasionally, Stokas Bieri Real Estate likes to feature clients who not only set the pace for their industry in improving real estate market value but also create opportunities for their communities to grow and flourish. With this post, we would like to recognize SVS Vision by sharing this entertaining and informative article written by our own Mac MacDermaid. Take it away Mac…

If you’ve ever walked into an optical store to pick out new glasses, you’d remember it as the greatest day of your life…okay I can’t even type that with a straight face. It’s so much pressure trying to find the perfect pair! You’re switching frames on and off, checking yourself out in the mirror, and hoping the one you pick will not only look good but complement your personality too. The best (aka worst) part is that you often have to rely on the staff to be your best friend during the decision making process. Turning to a stranger to ask, “Which of these can I pull off?” isn’t exactly a confidence booster. Luckily, websites like lets you virtually try on frames. All styles of designer frames are at your fingertips! Just upload a photo of yourself and choose which pair you’d like to see on your glamour shot. Shopping made simple. Just check out the looks on our Principal, Jim Bieri (personally I like the middle pair on him):

Jim Bieri using SVS Vision looks

The Lobby of SVS Vision Headquarters.

The lobby at SVS Vision Headquarters

If you’re a union worker you are probably familiar with SVS Vision. The long-time optical provider started out supplying safety glasses to the auto industry in the 70s. Fast forward 40 years. Even though some styles of glasses may resemble those in the 70’s (think retro), today’s lenses meet the needs of today’s consumers. SVS has a new line of signature lenses called EyeDef Lenses. These customized lenses have everything from polarized lenses to anti-glare coating, and are specifically designed for long screen time on our devices.

Ken Stann and guests at SVS Vision Grand Opening Celebration

Ken Stann, Owner of SVS, and guests celebrating the grand opening

For the past several years, many retailers have been closing stores and downsizing corporate employees, a casualty of the declining economy. This year we’ve seen a massive upswing of new store locations from all types of retailers. Even smaller businesses that may only have 1 or 2 locations currently are ready to take the plunge and add more locations to their roster.  The optical world has followed the same trend. When the new owners took over in 2007, SVS had 52 locations. With recent additions in Plymouth and Wixom, SVS currently has 64 stores and is actively seeking new sites.

Display at the SVS Vision Grand Opening Celebration

SVS Vision display at the grand opening celebration

A tell-tale sign of their growth has been their official move into a new corporate headquarters building this week. When you own a business, busting at the seams is definitely a good problem to have. From 8,000 sq ft to 18,000 sq ft, SVS has certainly got their eyes on the prize (sorry, I couldn’t help myself!) Fortunately, they didn’t have far to move (just a few blocks) but I’ll bet the extra space will give SVS the room it needs to grow even more. The building will also house a retail store.

In the Spring, SVS took their success and paid it forward by handing out $10,000 to unsuspecting people in Grand Rapids. And then some of those people paid it forward by donating it charity.

Watch the video here:

With businesses like these in our communities, it is no wonder that property values and jobs are on the rise!

What are your thoughts on expanding retail space? Do you think it is better to increase your square footage or add new locations? Please let us know in the comment section below!