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
* COLE VISION
* PEARLE VISION
* 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%!