Luxottica Execs Forecast Good Year Ahead, Focus on Reevaluating Stores and Building Supply Chain Logistics

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Massimo Vian, CEO for product and operations of Luxottica Group.
MILAN—Luxottica executives are optimistic about their business with independent ECPs in North America, and about the company’s overall retail business this spring, as the group continues its strategic focus to roll out new stores for LensCrafters, including store redesign and smaller footprint locations without in-store labs, open additional Target Opticals, and close non-performing locations.

The company is also implementing new logistics and systems investment in the supply chain arena to improve delivery and service and support its major plans for the new Ray-Ban Rx spectacle lens business through its new processing facility in Atlanta.

On a call with financial analysts after announcing the Group’s Q1 results (see financial story, below), Massimo Vian, CEO for product and operations of Luxottica Group (NYSE:LUX) said, “We are quite optimistic.”

He noted that the company’s wholesale sales have taken something of a hit due to the implementation of a MAP policy and a crackdown on counterfeit goods, which have impacted some Ray-Ban and Oakley sales.

In general, the goal of this tightening, he told analysts on the call is “to stay virtuous on full price and in brick and mortar. We have on our shoulder the weight to represent the industry, to stay premium. This can be tough to maintain but this is the strategy we embrace.”

About the retail business, Vian alluded to recent changes in senior management for Luxottica Retail North America, noting the appointment of the former CEO of Salmoiraghi & Vigano, Giorgio Candida, as general manager of LensCrafters earlier this year, as VMail reported. Vian said, “I am spending, myself, 50 percent of my time in the U.S., working closely with Candido. I want to be clear we are reshaping the business model of LensCrafters; we will have a lighter business model, with a slightly smaller footprint and a new level of service without a lab in the stores. Today’s lenses have moved towards the digital, we are moving to a super customized service level to each individual customer need.”

He continued, “We are looking to speed service to customers, and, particularly in optical, to invest in the excellence of the eyecare solutions and care we provide. This is what is needed for us to stay at the top of the category for the next decade and beyond. This is the investment we are making. We have invested in providing digital exams, to provide corrections that are super precise and we can’t do that with a traditional machined lens. We will be moving to enhance this digital capability and bring together, the best of digital combined with the brick and mortar space.”