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Luxottica Announces Purchase Of Glasses.com To Drive North American Presence

Luxottica logoLuxottica, the Italian based owner of some of the world’s biggest eyewear brands including Ray-Ban, Oakley, Sunglass Hut and Australia’s OPSM Group, has announced it is acquiring the glasses.com domain name for an undisclosed sum to boost its North American presence.

The eyewear company announced on 7 January it has entered into an asset purchase agreement to acquire the domain name from WellPoint Inc. subject to customary closing conditions.

Luxottica will use the domain name to, the say, invest in innovations to create an enhanced online experience that will be accessible to the independent practitioners in North America.

“Today we are announcing the agreement to acquire a technology which we believe will benefit the overall eyewear sector and the optical industry in North America, a crucial market for our group and one we remain strongly committed to” said Andrea Guerra, Chief Executive Officer at Luxottica.

“The acquisition will function as a starting point to shape an independent, digital platform through which the North American market can and will access the unique domain, innovating the shopping experience and improving the quality of products and services available to consumers.”

The industry is growing markedly. In its news release announcing the acquisition, Luxottica noted that in North America alone the industry is estimated today to be a US$35.5 billion market with the opportunity to grow to US$44-47 billion by 2020 according to Vision Council and Company estimates. Demographic factors, such as an increase in the number of individuals needing vision correction products, the projected increase in eye exams each year, and the greater penetration of premium eyewear are all expected to drive continued growth.

Luxottica believes that the investment in technology and the development of an accessible digital platform for the North American trade are crucial next steps in developing the market to its full potential. By investing in online innovation and providing accessibility to independent practitioners, Luxottica can offer both the doctor and the consumer a unique seamlessly integrated, superior experience.

The acquisition of glasses.com will not have a material impact on Luxottica’s consolidated financial statement. The agreement is subject to customary closing conditions and the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.