Nowadays, cheap sunglasses canada can be obtained selling for around $300 at high-end stores like Nordstrom (jwn, 1.34%) and Neiman Marcus. The company recently opened its first ever flagship store, a sleek emporium in the heart of Manhattan’s shopping mecca, SoHo. And in case you walk around capitals like London, Paris and Milan, it seems like anyone remotely stylish is sporting the shades.
However, not that long ago, in 1999, the brand is at a shambles, using its once-pioneering wares available for sale for $19 at countless gas stations and convenience stores. And the quality was awful: Ray-Ban was using antiquated tooling along with its frames were flimsy.
It was at that rock-bottom point that Italian eyewear giant Luxottica bought Bausch & Lomb’s eyewear brands, with Ray-Ban since the deal’s crown jewel, for $640 million in 1999. And thanks to an aggressive turnaround plan, Ray-Ban staged a remarkable comeback, one that it must be making an effort to maintain going. In 2000, Ray-Ban generated 252 million euros for Luxottica, or 10% of company sales. By 2014, which had risen a lot more than eightfold to 2.065 billion euros, or 27% of Luxottica sales. Ray-Bay now commands 5% of the global eye wear market, and it is the largest sunglasses brand, according to Euromonitor International data.
Before its decline, Ray-Ban had held a dominant spot in American popular culture, as a result of appearances in classic films from Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Top Gun. But seeking to boost sales, B&L transformed Ray-Ban in to a mass-market brand.
Audrey Hepburn sporting Ray-Bans within the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Photograph courtesy of Paramount Pictures/Getty Images
In being able to bounce back, Ray-Ban is probably the lucky ones. Few high-end brands that flirt using the low-end live to share with the tale, ?as other brands have realized when they’ve lowered prices within a bid to join the “accessible luxury” market.? So the Ray-Ban case instructive for several labels trying to win back their aura..
Luxottica’s Chief Marketing Officer, Stefano Volpetti, recently spoke with Fortune about how exactly the business returned luster towards the iconic brand and what its doing to maintain the momentum going.
The Ray-Ban brand first emerged as a major player in eyewear in 1929 if the Air Force asked Bausch & Lomb to develop a brand new form of eyewear that would protect pilots’ eyes from glare without compromising how well they could see. In 1936, Ray-Ban sold the resulting glasses, Aviator-style shades, towards the public initially, along with an American icon came into this world.
When Luxottica bought Ray-Ban, it says, the brand’s frames fell apart four times faster than those of Luxottica’s other brands. In 2000, Luxottica consolidated manufacturing of ray ban canada from four outdated facilities in various areas on the planet to some state of the art facility in Italy, where Luxottica manufactured other brands in their portfolio. Northeast Italy is actually a hub for premium eyewear, with the additional advantage of proximity to quality parts suppliers.
Convenience stores and gasoline stations usually are not the best avenues for cultivating an upscale image. So Luxottica made the painful decision to exit 13,000 points of sale in the early 2000s, sacrificing revenue for the short term within the belief that would pay off later. The organization was making eyewear for luxury names like Bulgari, Chanel and Armani, so that it already had ins with higher-end stores. By 2004, Luxottica was able to leverage the improved trustworthiness of Ray-Ban to command higher prices again, selling the shades at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. In 2000, per year after the acquisition, the starting price for a couple of Aviators was $79. 2 years afterward, which had risen to $89. And also 2009, as Ray-Ban started using newer materials like lightweight carbon fiber plus more sophisticated lens technology, the entry price had reached $129.”We necessary to clean the current market of numerous bits of low-quality, old Ray-Bans and clean up the distribution,” says Volpetti.
In 2000, most of Ray-Ban sales were for non-prescription sunglasses. Luxottica, tapping its core strength in the prescription-sunglasses area, brought Ray-Ban into its “optical” business 36 months later. Fast forward to 2015, and several 30% of Ray-Ban revenues are derived from prescription glasses, which can be generally pricier plus more profitable.
Ray-Ban has moved into personalized products. In 2013, it launched Re-Mix, allowing customers the very first time to customize their glasses themselves by mixing different frames, materials and styles in 220,000 different possible permutations. Re-Mix now generates 40% of the brand’s online revenues. A year ago, Ray-Ban also started offering its shades in new and unusual forms, selling Wayfarers created from leather, denim and velvet, among many other materials.
The emblem opened its first flagship in November, a 5,000 square-foot store in Manhattan’s hip SoHo area, that may be Luxottica says is essential to providing the types of experiences that will help Ray-Ban keep its market lead. The store will offer you live performances, film screenings, art shows and exhibits that showcase the brand’s long history.
Volpetti says Luxottica is established to utilize the lessons in the last 15 years to successfully enter China. (Ray-Ban remains an overwhelmingly European and North American brand.) And therefore dexjpky53 selectively choosing what stores will carry the sunglasses in China, deciding on better doors even if this means a slower entry. The marketing will emphasize Ray-Ban’s reputation of innovation and as the preferred sunglasses in the Hollywood set, something Volpetti says Chinese customers aren’t mindful of yet.
Beyond China, the secret weapon to success for cheap sunglasses online is to carry on and tap what managed to make it a high name to begin with: good-looking shades that don’t try too much to become fashion-forward, while boasting the latest technical advances. Such advances range from the use within its Liteforce collection of super light and resistant material of your kind aerospace companies use. Ray-Ban is likewise about to launch its “Chromance” lens, which the company claims uses color enhancement technology so people can easily see colors and contrasts better.
“Given that the manufacturer consistently balance the two dimensions, technical innovation and counterculture stylishness, it’s will be fine,” says Joe Jackman, a retail industry consultant whose firm Jackman Reinvents is focused on brand revitalization. (Ray-Ban is not really a Jackman client.) “The manufacturer carries a clear and true DNA and also as long it keeps the balance then they will read as authentic.”