Sam’s Club Revamps its Optical Assortment With New Frame Lines

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Bill and Giuliana Rancic.

BENTONVILLE, Ark.—Sam’s Club is taking steps to raise its game in the optical department, with the addition of new frame brands and a tie-in with the celebrity duo Bill and Giuliana Rancic. Sam’s, the membership division of Walmart Inc., announced the changes and move to an “affordable luxury” assortment in a post on its website earlier this fall by Kara Russow, optical merchant. “We're making room for more luxury brands in our more than 530 optical centers across the country,” Russow wrote in the past. “Our goal is to not only help members save money, but get on trend. I’m talking about an amazing variety of new designer frames from L.K. Bennett, Bijou de Paris and Sophia Vergara.”

Sam’s operates roughly 600 club-store locations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico and, according to the 2018 Vision Monday Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers Report, ranks as the fourth-largest optical retailer among mass merchants and warehouse club operators with estimated annual optical sales of almost $170 million in 2017 (which is the “data” year the ranking is based upon).

The post also noted that the new styles have been sourced “from all over the world, including Italy, London, Portugal, and some of the frames are made right here in the U.S. And, in the months ahead, we’ll be adding even more brands so stay tuned.” A Sam’s spokesman told VMAIL, “Many new designers have been in the clubs for a couple of months with additional frames from L.K. Bennett and Bijou de Paris flowing into clubs now.”

As part of the effort to raise the bar on its frame assortment, Sam’s has teamed up with Bill and Giuliana Rancic to help get “the news of these big changes out to our members,” according to the post. “What better celebrity duo to represent Sam’s Club Optical and these amazing changes than this fashion-loving couple?”

Giuliana Rancic, an Italian-American TV personality, is an entertainment journalist, author, fashion and beauty expert with more than 2 million followers on Instagram. She also has her own clothing line, G by Giuliana Rancic, on HSN. The couple appear in promotional videos that Sam’s has posted on its website and shares with social media accounts. Television advertising is not part of the promotional campaign.

In addition, Sam’s said it will introduce a private label Member’s Mark line of eyewear, with prices starting at $79 for a complete pair.