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Luxottica: an Italian empire spreading in the U.S.
Luxottica: an Italian empire spreading in the U.S.

Luxottica Logo

. Luxottica is a very well run company that has become the world leader in the eyeglass universe. Slowly but surely, Luxottica seems to be buying out all the major eyeglass companies in the world, especially American ones.  This acquisition pattern has created a large group of smaller companies and a domination of the industry, which is furthered by fact Luxottica produces its own glasses. Basically, Luxottica is a manufacturer for some of the biggest brands in the world when it comes to both sun and prescription glasses. These companies include Prada, Armani, Burberry, Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany and Versace.


Ray-Ban  Sunglasses Popular Models

Leonardo Del Vecchio founded the company in 1961, and from the very beginning the company monitored possible acquisitions in the retail and distribution fields. Del Vecchio's vision was to control every step of the process, from production and design to distribution and sales, creating a universe of Luxottica products. The acquisitions had a domino effec,t and in 1990 Luxottica bought out a famous Italian brand, Vogue, followed by Persol and Lens Crafters, which gave a strong and much needed retail structure in the U.S. market. The cherry on top of Luxottica's acquisition history has been the 1999 takeover of Ray-Ban, not only a trendy name, but an iconic American brand.

In 2001 the company secured their position in the retail market by acquiring Sun Hut. Eventually they also took over Pearl Vision and Oakley.



Luxottica Video by Luxottica


Another stroke of genius was the acquisition of Sears, Target, K-Mart, Wal-Mart and BJ's Optical, which basically made them the sole  eye and sunglass producer of  the entire american discount retail market, and confirming Luxottica's preeminence in the eyeglass and sunglass market.

While not busy taking over the world of glasses, Luxottica also branched out acquiring companies like Brooks Brothers, a strong American brand. This particular acquisition allowed for a full entrance into the clothing business and an exclusive contract to supply framed glasses under the Brooks Brothers brand. Plus, there was the opportunity to use the retail space for possible synergy projects with companies already controlled by the company itself.

Wallstrip - Luxottica Group (LUX)


A few years after Luxottica acquired Brooks Brothers, the company was purchased by Del Vecchio's son in a move that appears to be more about financial and tax reasons that anything else. In March 2010 Brooks Brothers renewed its global eyewear license with Luxottica.

To date, Luxottica has gone about their business in a positive manner, avoiding scandal and sticking to its original core industry. The quality of  Luxottica products has not suffered despite expansion, and is a great example of Italian productivity.

What do you think ?