EYECARE: Coronavirus BRIEFING: Business Updates Luxottica to Donate Hundreds of Thousands of Medical Masks, Outlines COVID-19 Safety and Relief Efforts By Staff Friday, April 3, 2020 12:27 AM Luxottica has illuminated the facade of its main plant in Agordo, Italy with the colors of the Italian flag as a sign of community and resilience. It plans to do the same at its Milan headquarters this week.NEW YORK—Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, Luxottica Group has taken a number of steps, both in North America and Italy, to protect customers, employees, partners and medical workers. In the U.S., Luxottica is donating 8,000 pairs of protective eyewear and 100,000 medical masks to hospitals in New York, California, Atlanta and Cincinnati, a company spokesperson told VMAIL. The protective medical masks are usually used in Luxottica's manufacturing plants to protect against dust and debris. The protective eyewear will include a mix of goggles and protective wraparound glasses that help prevent the transmission of COVID-19.The hospitals include Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City; North Shore Hospital located near Luxottica’s Port Washington, N.Y. office; University of California Irvine, Mission Hospital and the VA Hospital in Long Beach, Calif., all three of which are in proximity to Oakley offices in Southern California; Emory University Hospital Midtown near the company’s Atlanta facility; and University of Cincinnati Medical Center near Luxottica’s Mason, Ohio office. Luxottica will also ship thousands of medical-grade masks to wholesale customers who continue to see patients with essential or emergency needs to help protect them from transmission. Luxottica customers can request masks by emailing email@example.com.Globally, Luxottica plans to ship hundreds of thousands of protective masks to its customers in Italy and around the world, as well as to hospitals and public institutions in Italy and other countries. The company is also exploring additional opportunities to contribute supplies and medical equipment to hospitals, the spokesperson said.Additionally, Luxottica chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio, through his namesake foundation, donated €10 million to the new hospital created at the Milan fairgrounds.To ease the pandemic’s financial burden on North American customers, Luxottica is encouraging them to reach out to its credit department or their sales consultants to discuss possible flexibility on their payment schedules. Any new order placed between Friday, March 27 and April 30, 2020 will have 30 days extended payment terms, based on standard payment terms, the spokesperson said.For the company's wholesale customers who have had to reduce hours or temporarily close their practices, Luxottica University has developed a dedicated learning path that covers various topics including improving the patient experience and becoming an expert on selling plano and prescription sunwear. Luxottica will also invite customers to a practice management series of ABO-certified virtual classroom sessions. These sessions will be free, and will include topics like improving practice profitability, leveraging a static frame board and using social media to drive better capture rate.To ensure the safety of its North American workforce, Luxottica is providing medical masks for all employees in its manufacturing facilities, as well as all retail employees working in the stores that remain open for essential care. For employees who continue to work in the company’s manufacturing facilities to provide services in states where optical services have been deemed “essential,” Luxottica is providing them with masks and gloves.Additionally, Luxottica is taking the temperature of each employee on the way into the plant each morning. To comply with social distancing requirements, employees sit at least six feet apart and eat in scheduled shifts to reduce exposure. Heightened cleaning protocols have been implemented in the entire plant, with special attention paid to frequently touched surfaces, the spokesperson said.Luxottica's North American office-based team is working remotely. All employees have been issued laptops loaded with Microsoft Teams software, and given remote access to files.Luxottica has established an emergency pay policy for all North America-based employees, and has extended this policy an additional two weeks for store associates, starting April 2.In Italy, Luxottica plans to limit employees’ vacation time to one week during the traditional August shutdown, a move other firms may follow, assuming production will ramp back up in late summer. "All employees will in any case be guaranteed two consecutive weeks of vacation and an additional third week to be scheduled according to organizational needs," the company said.