Italian eyewear giant Luxottica has big plans for China.
The company controls around 40 prominent brands such as Ray-Ban, Oakley, and Vogue as well as those for major fashion houses like Giorgio Armani, Prada, Versace, and Chanel. Last year, Luxottica produced 77.3 million pairs of glasses, generating net sales of 4.3 billion euros (US$5.64 billion). Global revenues reached 7.3 billion euros, 13 percent of which came from the Asia-Pacific region.
The company entered China in 1998 through a subsidiary, Tristar Optical Co. Although their original intentions were for the production of low-cost products, the company soon realized that the country’s creative, engineering, and technological resources provided valuable opportunities for manufacturing higher quality products, and began to expand its business in the Chinese market, reports Ecns.com.
“When we began to understand how the Chinese market really worked, 10 years ago, we started to introduce our brands, strengthening our ties with Chinese consumers,” explained Andrea Guerra, CEO of Luxottica.
The company will launch its Vogue Eyewear collection through a gala event in Shanghai on July 23. Liu Shishi, a popular young actress, is the first local ambassador for the new collection. This new Vogue collection, which is designed and made in China, showcases Luxottica’s localized design referred to as “Asian fitting”.
“Many of Luxottica’s brands have been tailored so that their frames have been adapted specifically for Asian wearers to ensure optimal fit, comfort and original style,” said Guerra.
Currently, Luxottica maintains four primary production and design centers in China, all of which are located around Dongguan in Guangdong province. The company sees these properties, which provide research and development services as well as manufacturing, as crucial to its continued success in the country. They also have a Shanghai-based headquarters for brand and retail management.
Luxottica has also found considerably retail success in China through LensCrafters stores, with 300 points of sale and 50 new locations set to open this year. Guerra says the company plans to expand its retail presence into new cities and “seize e-commerce opportunities” to keep up with the country’s competitive market.
“In the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, in 2013, our retail division reported a strong performance. Last year alone, store sales increased at a double-digit rate, an amazing 50 percent. We are really happy with these results.”
image credit: luxottica