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Luxottica

October 8th, 2010 at 08:18 am

Do you wear glasses? Do you plan on buying sunglasses anytime soon? Ever heard of a company called Luxottica? If not, please read on.

Luxottica is an Italian company that makes glasses and sunglasses. What makes them a big deal? I've read unsubstantiated reports that the company may control as much as 80% of all brand-name glasses and sunglasses manufactured in the world. But with the companies they hold, I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be true. Ever heard of these?

* OAKLEY
* RAYBAN
* COLE VISION
* PEARLE VISION
* LENSCRAFTERS
* EYEMED VISION CARE
* SUNGLASS HUT
* AVANT GARDE OPTICS

Now, why is this important to fruggies? Through all these companies, Luxottica effectively has a global monopoly on brand-name glasses and sunglasses. And because of this monopoly, we get the privilege to pay through the nose for all of these brand names. Up to $300 just for a wire frame? You've got to be kidding me!

So, if you care about your wallets, I would recommend avoiding any and all Luxottica companies. They don't compete with each other for price. They essentially ARE the same company.

Now, what alternatives do we have? I've gone to Walmart for a pair of glasses before, and they're OK. I've also been recommended Zenni Optical and I'll probably get my next pair there. I can't believe they have fancy memory frames for no more than $25! They can also craft you a sunglasses if you desire.

- - - - -

The following is an addendum for investors.

Obviously, with a company like this, I had to check out their stock. LUX is a solid blue chip with a 1.75% yield. However, it's an ADR for me, and has a pretty low trading volume. What's worse, the options market is next to non-existent. Even for dividend investors, it seems like you can do better with domestic blue chips. I would pass on this one, though interestingly enough, Georgio Armani seems to like it. He (or the company under his name) owns like 5%!

11 Responses to “Luxottica”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    It's been a long time since I've heard that name, Luxottica. I think I used to see the name directly advertising in the optical shops. Maybe not in recent years though. Yeah, I get grumpy about frame prices. My computer glasses are from Walmart and I give them an A+ for getting it right and for tough wear. With my small head, I have children's frames, which meant an extra savings.

    What are memory frames? Do they have nitrile, memory wire? If so, cool, but I think I'd play with my ear pieces just for fun!

  2. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    my eyes are a 20/1500 (yes, if a person with normal vision stands 1,500 feet away from the chart, they would see what I see) and so am at the optician every few years.

    I have to shop frame size that will make my lens small because they are like coke bottles, right? So although I've seen luxottica forever, brand doesn't matter. Trend or fashion doesn't matter either. I am really limited in frames.

    That being said, I refuse to pay loads for frames. I also have to concentrate on children's frames and usually find something not TOO dorky or silly and $100 or less.

    Hmmmm, I loved my old Barbie frames with tiny hearts on the side pieces (no one could see them but me!)

    and the kid's frames are usually built to take a beating!!

  3. Broken Arrow Says:

    Joan, I had meant one of those memory frames wherever if you wrap them around your fingers, it would spring back into shape. My current frame is memory, and it's great for someone as clumsy er athletic as me.

  4. dmontngrey Says:

    Oh? I didn't know Zenni had those! Actually, I didn't know they existed at all. DH bought 3 pair of glasses through them a while back. They don't fit perfectly, but now they're all he has. His bag blew out of the back of a pickup truck on the highway - taking his overpriced glasses with it. These sound right up his alley and he needs to try for better fitting glasses!

  5. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Yeah, BA, that is memory wire, It can do other cool stuff. Like-- if you allow a flow of electricty through it you can make it move and return to shape, move-return to shape, move-return to shape. So it has tiny mechanical uses. You could probably make your glass walk across a table if you got it just right.

  6. Broken Arrow Says:

    Hehe, good to know. I just want a cheap pair of glasses, although I am in love with this stuff though. I would've ruined my glasses several times over if it wasn't for that.

    That or maybe LASIK?

  7. scfr Says:

    My last 2 eyeglass purchases have been at Costco. Very happy. Sorry I don't remember how much I paid, but I thought it was very reasonable, and the exams were great.

  8. Jerry Says:

    Yeah, Luxottica definitely has a corner on the luxury frame market. I will only get their frames if they are selling on closeout, because it is usually cheap (at least with insurance) to get the lenses in my Rx. My wife has terrible vision, so hers are more expensive... but she was able to order a pair from an optician in Hong Kong over the internet and it saved her almost $400. AND he did a great job. (Right now we live overseas and we can get glasses for about $40, with very nice frames.)
    Jerry

  9. James Says:

    Guess what, WE ARE ALL PAYING TOO MUCH FOR COMPUTERS, TOO.

    Intel Corp, the dominant company in the business of computer processors, has been in a lot of antitrust trouble for bribing and threatening computer manufacturers and retailers into not making/selling products that contain chips from Intel's competitors.

    For example, Intel was discovered to be bribing retailers to simply not stock computers that contained chips from Intel's only major competitor, AMD.

    If you want a great computer for a fair price, buy a computer with AMD processors inside.

  10. DloveGlasses Says:

    Come on, Zenni glasses, they are not fashion at all. If you're walking the line between style savvy and budget buying, GlassesShop.com is the retailer for you.

  11. Jey Says:

    If you're walking the line between style savvy and budget buying, highly recommend try GlassesShop.com where you can find the best deal on frames and lenses and glasses.

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