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Much of the interest in Luxottica’s retail dominance came from a segment aired on the CBS news magazine program in 2012, but that segment also did not provide a number for the proportion of eyeglass and sunglass brands that fall under Luxottica’s umbrella (compared to those of competitors such as Walmart, Costco, Zenni Optical, or Warby Parker).In May 2015, Luxottica, the dominant frame producer, owns a portfolio of eyewear brands that includes Persol and Ray-Ban, the latter of which is the biggest brand in the market.The company did not respond to repeated requests for comment.You’re at the mall, looking to buy a pair of prescription sunglasses. The same company you’ve never heard of controls their eyewear department, too.Over the past 5 years, Luxottica, the world’s largest corporate player in the eyeglasses industry, steadily bought up other companies.Today, the company owns 30 different brands of frames, including Anne Klein, Burberry, DKNY, Oakley, Polo, Ralph Lauren, Ray-Ban, Versace and Vogue.It holds the licenses to produce eyewear for global fashion brands such as Chanel, Armani, Prada and Michael Kors and manages the distribution of its products through 200,000 wholesale doors.In 2014, the Italian company generated over €7.6 billion (about .5 billion) in revenue.
Barry Lynn, director of the New America Foundation’s Markets, Enterprise and Resiliency Initiative, said if you define a monopolistic company as one “big enough to determine the terms of business within its industry,” then Luxottica qualifies.
Schumer explained that Luxoticca has a monopoly-like hold over the eyewear industry and that this push, along with other actions, could help weaken this hold.
Additionally, many health plans do not adequately cover eye care, while forces patients to pay out of pocket.“I feel Senator Schumer maybe a little misinformed here,” says Optometry Times Chief Optometric Editor Ernie Bowling, OD, FAAO.
It also controls retail shops, including Lens Crafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical and Target Optical.
And it owns the Eye Med Vision Care group, a vision insurance company.