Business / Companies

Luxottica sees room for fast growth

By Mariella Radaelli For China Daily (China Daily) Updated: 2014-06-23 07:08

Luxottica sees room for fast growth

A researcher at a Luxottica production center in Dongguan, Guangdong province. Photos provided to China Daily

China is playing a big role in the business plan of Luxottica, an Italian company that is a world leader in the design, production and distribution of sports and luxury eyewear brands such as Oakley and Vogue.

The company has four primary production and design hubs in China, which it sees as playing a key role this decade and for years to come.

Company officials say China not only meets their manufacturing needs but can also provide services such as high quality research and development.

"The four production centers are all based around Dongguan, in Guangdong province: two large plants and two smaller ones, for our lenses, frames and R&D," says Andrea Guerra, CEO of Luxottica. "China today offers a highly fertile terrain for creativity and research.

"In China, our company also has a large distribution center and a service center which plays an important role in support, while our headquarters is in Shanghai, which oversees brand and retail management."

The company, which employs 73,400 people worldwide, was founded in 1961 by Leonardo Del Vecchio, a Milanese engraver, in Agordo, a town in the foothills of the Dolomites.

The company has a strong portfolio, controlling about 40 high-profile brands. Since the 1990s, major fashion houses have turned to Luxottica to design, create and market their own eyewear. These brands include Bulgari, Chanel, Dolce&Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Prada, Paul Smith, Stella McCartney and Versace.

Luxottica's proprietary brands include Ray-Ban, Oakley, Vogue Eyewear, Persol and Oliver Peoples.

Globally, the retail division reported net sales of 4.3 billion euros ($5.84 billion) last year and 77.3 million pairs of glasses were produced.

The Luxottica Group had global revenues of 7.3 billion euros last year, 56 percent from North America, 20 percent from Europe, 13 percent from the Asia-Pacific region, and 11 percent from the rest of the world.

Guerra discussed the company's trajectory at Luxottica's Milan headquarters. The walls of his office are covered with photographs of classic and contemporary stars wearing glasses.

"Our business in China began in 1998 through subsidiary Tristar Optical Co," he says."Initially, like many other companies, we entered the huge Chinese market with the aim of producing low-cost products. Nevertheless, we realized that, even nine years ago, China was becoming an ideal terrain for higher quality products, given its superior technology and excellent HR resources, in particular in engineering."

Luxottica sees room for fast growth

Luxottica sees room for fast growth

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