Friday, October 26, 2012

The Italians are dominating you,supplying you and have taken you over the top and you don’t even know it. If you have bought eyeglasses recently, you know the price tag is extremely expensive unless you bought them at places like Walmart or Costco. You can easily be spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a pair that cost thirty dollars ten years ago.
It is not as though things have changed that much. After all, they are still made out of a couple of pieces of plastic or wire; some screws and glass. Now if we made them as some kind of project we would look like an alien in them but the Italians, those style geniuses, managed to make you go from looking like a goof or a dork as I am frequently called by a could I really call her a friend of mine to looking swave and sophisticated and cool after the Italians have their way with those supplies.
Why should a pair of eyeglasses cost more than an IPad ? Because the Italians are great stylists and they know how to get paid for their ideas. The main answer is an economic disaster. Yes , when one company has bought out all the other companies and now dominates an industry and has its way with you. Yes, domination and take over has prevailed in society now and you must submit to their demands or walk around blind, literally.
One company owns a big chunk of the eye wear business yet there are choices everywhere. Companies like Ray-Ban, Oakley’s eyeglasses for running , skiing and even reading. There is a staggering amount of colors and designers for eye wear now so why hasn’t all this variety forced the prices down? One reason the prices don’t go down is because of an unknown Italian company called Luxottica that is the biggest eye wear company on the planet.
It shuns publicity and prefers the smaller companies it owns to get all the advertisement. The CEO Andrea Guerra has no problem letting you know the eye opening information about his company. He admits to the fact that at least half a billion people in the world are wearing eyeglasses right now that were manufactured by his company.
It all got started in the beautiful simple town tucked in a meadow surrounded by beautiful mountains in Agordo, the Italian Alps of Italy. This small town made eyewear out of the horns of the goats that graze in the meadow there. The factory looked like a garage in 1961 and now is a modern sprawling complex. At this factory last year the company made some 65 million pairs of sunglasses and optical frames. They do not make prescription lenses.
They sell mountains of boxes of eyewear to locations all over the world. They can be very expensive and the CEO simply says that, “This is one of the very few objects that you may own that is 100% functional,100% esthetical and a need to fit your face for 15 hours a day so it is worth the price.” The company's product manager is Isabella Sola and is claiming that the company revolutionized how we see glasses.
It wasn’t that long ago that glasses were uncool and you only wore them if you absolutely had to. This company took the medical device called glasses and turned it into high fashion by making deals to make high quality stylish spectacles for nearly every brand and label you can think of.
Isabella says they produce product for Prada, Channel, Dolce and Gabbana, Versace, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co., Bvlgaria and not even called glasses anymore. They are eyewear. Once glasses became face wear jewelry, Luxottica could charge a hefty markup. We all know there are less expensive non-designer glasses made that look very similar to the very expensive with their name embossed on the frame. For example, their Vogue line  is not that expensive.
Coach is designer and not the same because of the details that go into the frames that make them of so much more value. Things like the little Channel C’s logo or the Polo ponies logo on the rims or even Tiffany blue on the frames. Glasses like these can sell up to 20 times what they cost to make and all the glasses are designed by Luxottica. They design thousands of brand named glasses.
The fashion houses send in sketches of their new collections as inspiration. Then Luxottica matches up colors, creates designs, adds by hand gem stones one by one into the Dolce and Gabbana or leather woven’s to create that Channel bag look. So, why not have the Luxottica brand? Well, the company is large enough to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange where Luxottica’s shares are soaring. Maybe this place is a good place to dive into trading all you smart women out there.
The company raked in $8 Billion dollars last year but their best seller wasn’t a fancy designer label, it was a brand they outright own. Ray-Ban was made by Bausch and Lomb for the US Army. Since JFK nearly every President has worn them. Not to mention Tom Cruise in Risky Business and Top Gun.
The brand was poorly managed and eventually was put up for sale. The Italians bought it in 1999 and had a strategy to turn things around. They stopped selling Ray-Ban glasses for a year that used to be sold for $29 dollars at gas stations and now turned the company around to glasses costing $150 dollars and more.
Now Ray-Ban is the top selling glasses in the world. Luxottica now owns Lens Crafters the largest retail chain in North America. So, now they make them and sell them. How can that be good for the consumer? We just don’t get a competitive break. Where can you go ? Nowhere. They also own Pearle Vision, and Oliver Peoples eyeglasses chain stores. They own Sears Optical and Target Optical and finally Sunglass Hut which is the largest sun glass chain in the world. Bye Bye free market and variety in life.

No comments:

Post a Comment