Friday, December 4, 2009

Luxottica continues retail expansion

The breaking news is that Macy's department stores have signed an exclusive deal with Luxottica to expland the number of Sunglass Hut concessions to more than 600 stores across the US.

Find out more here.

Independent opticians would be forgiven for asking "Where will this end?" if in fact this is not still too distant an issue.

In my last post I suggested that independent opticians and independent eyewear producers should forge closer relationships to deliver greater market differentiation. That would mean we could all compete from a strong niche rather than working harder for less margin against Lux-owned, De Rigo-owned, Saphilo-owned, Specsavers and on-line retail which prefers either fashion house brands and/or "cheap" (and cheap does not always mean cheerful or provide good value).

I was speaking to an enthusiatic optician today who is considering a different optical retail model. Her view is that many independents could be sleep-walking to oblivion, especially where they rely on the marketing pull of the fashion house brand licenses the large Italian companies own.

She believed independents need to embrace the niche and ensure excellence of advice and take the time with patients to give them all the information. Having worked in multiples and independently as a locum she does not feel that we have it quite right.

So how can you build a practice on niche products? And how can you market effectively?

I have my own ideas that I share with those of my customers who prefer to be closer to an independent niche design company.

What is you view?

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