Safilo Signs an Agreement to Sell Solstice Retail Business to Fairway LLC

By

PADUA, Italy—Safilo Group S.p.A. announced Friday morning that it has reached an agreement to sell its U.S. retail chain Solstice to Fairway LLC. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Fairway, a limited liability company, was formed by a group of investors active in the U.S. and in the European eyewear retail business, according to Safilo’s announcement. Safilo had announced in April that it had received “expressions of interest” in a deal for Solstice from unnamed buyers, as VMAIL reported. There were 73 Solstice locations in the U.S. at that time, of which 28 are outlets, a company spokesperson told VMAIL.

The transaction with Fairway is expected to be completed in this year’s third quarter, Safilo said. No other details about Fairway were available at press time.

“The sale of the Solstice retail business confirms the Group’s efforts to focus on its core wholesale business, and thereby marks a further key step in Safilo’s strategy of recovering a sustainable economic profile,” the announcement on Friday morning noted.

Solstice, which was acquired from the fashion holding company LVMH group in 2002, specializes in the sale of sunglasses positioned in the high-end and luxury segments of the market, according to Safilo’s 2018 annual report.

In late 2018, Safilo noted that it had closed 22 Solstice stores in the preceding 12 months and that same-store sales through the first nine months of the year were negative by 6.1 percent. The company subsequently reported in its annual report that Solstice retail sales were “suffering from a combination of declining traffic (fiscal year same-store sales declining by 7 percent) and store closures.”