Companies from across the British optical industry have joined forces to create the Independent Practice Support Group, a forum that aims to address the decline of independent practices in the U.K. The new group, which includes Essilor, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Luxottica and Transitions, will run under the guidance of the Association of Optometrists (AOP). Participating companies will pool expertise, ideas and resources to look at ways to halt the contraction of the independent sector in the country. Consumer research is already underway to understand more about the public perception of the independent sector. Such research will be used by the group to design and test future pilot programs in the market.