Luxottica’s Annual Partner Days Raises $400,000 for OneSight and Sets Goals for the Coming Year

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MASON, Ohio—At Luxottica Partner Days held this week at The Manor House near Luxottica’s North American headquarters here, the company’s various business units discussed previous accomplishments, announced goals and initiatives for the coming year and sponsored events benefiting the non-profit organization OneSight.

The two days of fundraising and business presentations began Monday June 11 with the Par for Sight Golf Tournament, Putt-Putt for Sight Afternoon Putts and the ParTee for Sight networking dinner and auction. Together, these fundraising events generated $400,000 for OneSight, a family of vision care charities dedicated to providing healthy vision, eyewear and sun protection to those in need worldwide.

The following day, presenters representing Luxottica’s different divisions and the approximately 550 attendees consisting of employees, vendors and franchisees got down to business discussing the past year’s accomplishments and plans for the future.

After some entertainment honoring its partners, Luxottica began its presentations with Carlo Privitera, COO of Luxottica North America business services describing Luxottica’s growth over the past year.  Among the highlights were the Tecnol acquisition in Brazil, the launch of Coach eyewear, the Sunglass Hut summit in Maui, the introduction of the LensCrafters digital shop and the new OPSM strategy, among other accomplishments and initiatives. Privitera also announced that Oakley will have 600 athletes competing in this year’s Olympics wearing Oakley Optics, and he introduced the Lux Zero Waste goal to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by 2013 to “deliver a better world for our kids and grandkids.”

Liz DiGiandomenico, president of Luxottica vision care services, followed, stating that with 33 million members, EyeMed is the fastest growing managed vision care plan. “What we really want is every American to get an eye exam, not every 2.5 years, but every year,” she concluded.

Following last year’s introduction of the Accufit system that features a lens simulator and a virtual mirror and takes measurements five times more accurately than traditional techniques, LensCrafters has plans to present a new prototype store design in the third quarter as well as digitize the entire patient experience, according to Mark Weikel, president and general manager of LensCrafters. They plan to “take the anxiety out of the optical experience,” he said, concluding that LensCrafters is also looking forward to its 30th anniversary in 2013.

Relatively new to the company, Srini Kumar, the senior vice president and general manager of Pearle Vision for the last seven months, outlined his plans for growing the company’s franchise stores as well as its corporate stores with a goal to expand both domestically and globally. At the event, he told VMail that he has already created subcommittees to analyze product, brand standards and profitability and enhanced communications with a weekly webcast, monthly meetings and a franchisee Facebook page. In addition Pearle Visionaries for OneSight has been established in memory of founder Stanley Pearle to provide fellowship grants to optometrists for medical research. The foundation has already raised $35,000 in just one month and has a goal of reaching $150,000 by the end of the year.

Citing a “tough host environment,” the next speaker, Daryl Hammett, senior vice president and general manager of Sears Optical, announced some plans that have already been implemented, such as SunSource, and some coming in the near future, including the launch of the Kardashian Kollection of eyewear. He announced a launch party for the collection next month and hinted at building a strong online presence.

Executive vice president of licensed brands, Seth McLaughlin followed, discussing new merchandising strategies for Target Optical and announcing that the brand has experienced double digit growth over the last five years. John Haugh, executive vice president and general manager of Sunglass Hut North America predicted sales of about $1 billion this year and announced an ambitious goal of assorting each store differently depending on the demographics of its customers. He also called attention to the new flagship store on Lincoln Road in Miami. Rob McCoy, vice president and general manager of luxury retail announced another new store opening planned for Woodbury Commons in Central Valley, N.Y.

Concluding the presentations, Jason Singh, OD, OneSight’s senior director North America since October 2011 thanked attendees for helping to collect $400,000 and explained that 94 cents of every dollar the organization raises goes to the patient. OneSight’s plans include doubling both engaged associates as well as funding over the next three years and implementing more long-term sustainable vision care solutions to go from “improving someone’s day to improving someone’s life.” In Cincinnati the organization will open a multi-million dollar vision center in October consisting of two exam lanes and its own lab. “Come and play with the OneSight team,” he concluded.