The Year 2014: Part 1

december 29, 2014

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Luxottica deserves an own chapter in this year’s overview. It happened to be a turbulent year for the largest optical company in the world. Sales increased constantly but less spectacular as in former years and will definitely reach more than 7,5 billion euro. As the company successfully restructured and improved its processes, net profit increases faster than the sales.

In January the company acquired online supplier which makes it one of the major players in the online market as well. The website offers free (unifocal) lenses for everyone who buys a frame for at least 149 dollar. The offer is immense and includes, of course, a range of Luxottica brands. It proves that online sales of eyewear today is a reality and stores will have to fight harder to prove their added value and gain or maintain a position next to giants like Luxottica.

In March the company signed a contract with Google. The two companies will join efforts to further develop the Google Glass technology. This didn’t retain Luxottica to close a similar kind of deal with Intel with which it will also work on the development of “smart glasses” that maybe finally could replace our mobile phones. No wonder companies invest in this future chance.

In April Luxottica announced the acquisition of the Michael Kors license for the design, manufacturing and sales of the eyewear collections. Later this year it renewed the prestigious Chanel license-agreement. Despite all this, for Luxottica, positive news, the financial markets reacted very negative when successful CEO Andrea Guerra suddenly left the company in September after a disagreement with founder and main shareholder Leonardo del Vecchio. Only a few weeks later his successor did exactly the same. Stock prices dropped dramatically but in the meantime recovered completely.

In a very smart and unmatched way, Luxottica has positioned itself in an unique and extremely powerful position. It produces enormous amounts of frames and sunglasses, sells them in thousands of own stores as well as at its own online channels and at the same time successfully delivers to almost all other retailers in the market. The expectations for 2015 are more or less the same. Luxottica will continue its strategy and increase its influence worldwide. Next to a variety of other consequences, this will also sharpen the contrast between the “merchants” and the “lovers” in the branch. But much more about that in the next days!

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