The EssilorLuxottica booth featured large screen graphics set within a modern, modular design.
ORLANDO—More than two-and-a-half years since the merger between Essilor and Luxottica was finalized, the optical industry giant made its first appearance at a major industry event under a single, unified banner during last week’s Vision Expo East show here. The company unveiled a gleaming, modern booth that showcased the EssilorLuxottica brand, its vast portfolio of frames, sunglasses, spectacle lenses and showcased a range of related services. Although the exhibit symbolized EssilorLuxottica’s new corporate identity, it provided visitors with practical examples of how the company presents its flagship brands and capabilities to provide independent eyecare professionals with an array of digital resources to support and sell them while building up their practices.

The company also offered a "soft" preview of what will be a new, completely overhauled training and development resource site at the new booth.

“This is a new chapter for a new company, and we'll support our customers in a much more integrated way than we've ever done before,” said Rick Gadd, president of Essilor North America. “It is super powerful and exciting to think about the potential of how we can begin to grow the industry for everyone and provide the support to independent eyecare professionals by being great partners for them. We're one team, and this booth is a great representation of that.” Gadd added, “We’ve always been thought of as a product company, but we’re actually a product, services and solutions company.”

Speaking about the challenging business climate since the start of the pandemic, Fabrizio Uguzzoni, president of Luxottica Wholesale, Americas, remarked, “We are very proud of not only our teams, but also our customers and the industry. So it’s important for us to be here at Vision Expo East to show support to our customers and all the stakeholders.

“Here in the U.S., we are leading the way. We did it with EssilorLuxottica 360, the first commercial program of EssilorLuxottica in the world, and now we are showing up together with our booth at Vision Expo for the first time as a company.” Uguzzoni said going forward, EssilorLuxottica will continue to assert its unified identity via the booth’s presence at Vision Expo West as well as at other events around the world.

Pete Hanlin was on hand to
answer questions about Varilux lenses.
The company’s reinvisioned booth featured a spacious, open design that used large, freestanding modular units with embedded video screens to create a clean, minimal look. Huge screens ran a continuous video loop of brand stories, product messaging and educational tips. The booth also housed a mini-theater where company executives made live presentations about new products and programs.

Uguzzoni pointed out that the booth information and images were presented in both a digital way onsite—there was little physical product on display—and a virtual way (with an accompanying website for those ECPs who were not in attendance) to communicate about the products, programs and capabilities EssilorLuxottica can offer. (See the exclusive video below.)
He noted, “These are also the solutions that the independent eyecare professional can adopt in their own practice. The Red Carpet version we have here, which we call the Smart Shopper, can enable the user to see every product in every collection but can also tell the story behind the brand and its style messages. This is something that can be added to the practice to show the collection to customers via an iPad.”

One section of the integrated booth facilitated an explanation of the EssilorLuxottica 360 program, debuted last year, and an iPad navigates that content. Said Uguzzoni, “There are many ways to see how participation in this program, combining the capabilities of Luxottica, Essilor and Eyemed, can help the practice. Actually, we have had a tremendous reception to this and today EL 360 has just reached a great milestone of 2,000 members.”
Essilor Experts and Luxottica Partners levels are still active, realizing their own partnership benefits, the execs pointed out.

In front of the Varilux wall, Gadd pointed out, “Obviously, it’s vision without limits. This is very experiential as we explain the lens technology, how it benefits patients, and adaptation 96 percent patient satisfaction. It’s very, very deep. It shows that we are a technology company with leadership performance to really educate our customers.”

Boyd Wilson explaining a design feature on an Oakley sunglass.
Behind the integration work at the companies, there has been a new training of the respective sales teams of the companies, the executives pointed out. Said Uguzzoni, “The best example is probably the EssilorLuxottica 360 where all of sales have been trained on the program. And we also have a group of field experts who can visit accounts to orient them to the programs included.”

Gadd added, “The Ray-Ban Authentic edition is another way that the company has been showing up together and is helped by a significant cross training from the lenses to the frame product. We have a dedicated team for Ray-Ban Authentic that is across the country and very much synchronized with the Fabrizio’s team in order to make sure that we're capitalize on those opportunities with this.”

Asked if there will be additional "hybrid" or "combined" types of products going forward, Gadd said, “The short answer is yes, you're going to see this happen in multiple ways. I won't forecast the exact timing or the products or anything like that, but that's the power of one plus one equal three. That's really leveraging the full capabilities of two companies together to create what has been historically undefined value.”

EssilorLuxottica also developed a short preview of a totally overhauled training and development resource site for customers and its sales teams, for learning about products, services, new digital tools and more. It’s called Leonardo and is inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci, Gadd and Uguzzoni explained. The site will feature what they described as “best-in-class learning and content on frame, lenses and digital solutions,” including content from the Luxottica University program. New content will be added on an ongoing basis.

EssilorLuxottica is planning a full launch of Leonardo this summer.

For show updates on all of EssilorLuxottica’s Expo presentations and to learn more about how its brands and programs showed up at Vision Expo East, visit the EssilorLuxottica VEE microsite.