Nowadays, cheap sunglasses canada can be found selling for up to $300 at high-end stores like Nordstrom (jwn, 1.34%) and Neiman Marcus. The brand recently opened its first ever flagship store, a sleek emporium in the heart of Manhattan’s shopping mecca, SoHo. Of course, if you walk around capitals like London, Paris and Milan, it seems like anyone remotely stylish is sporting the shades.
But not that long ago, in 1999, the emblem is at a shambles, with its once-pioneering wares available for sale for $19 at countless gas stations and convenience stores. And also the quality was awful: Ray-Ban was using antiquated tooling as well as 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 due to an aggressive turnaround plan, Ray-Ban staged a remarkable comeback, one that it is working hard to hold going. In 2000, Ray-Ban generated 252 million euros for Luxottica, or 10% of company sales. By 2014, which had risen greater than eightfold to 2.065 billion euros, or 27% of Luxottica sales. Ray-Bay now commands 5% in the global eye wear market, and it is the most important sunglasses brand, in accordance with Euromonitor International data.
Before its decline, Ray-Ban had held a dominant spot in American popular culture, thanks to appearances in classic films from Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Top Gun. But looking to boost sales, B&L transformed Ray-Ban in 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 recover, Ray-Ban is among the lucky ones. Few high-end brands that flirt together with the low-end live to know the tale, ?as other brands have discovered when they’ve lowered prices within a bid to sign up for the “accessible luxury” market.? And so the Ray-Ban case instructive for many labels seeking to win back their aura..
Luxottica’s Chief Marketing Officer, Stefano Volpetti, recently spoke with Fortune regarding how the organization returned luster to the iconic brand name and what its doing to help keep the momentum going.
The Ray-Ban brand first emerged being a major player in eyewear in 1929 once the Air Force asked Bausch & Lomb to develop a fresh kind of eyewear that might protect pilots’ eyes from glare without compromising how good they could see. In 1936, Ray-Ban sold the resulting glasses, Aviator-style shades, for the public initially, as well as an American icon was created.
When Luxottica bought Ray-Ban, it says, the brand’s frames fell apart four times faster compared to those of Luxottica’s other brands. In 2000, Luxottica consolidated production of ray ban sale canada from four outdated facilities in different areas around the world to a state-of-the-art facility in Italy, where Luxottica manufactured other brands within its portfolio. Northeast Italy is actually a hub for premium eyewear, using the additional benefit of proximity to quality parts suppliers.
Convenience stores and gasoline stations are not the most effective avenues for cultivating an upscale image. So Luxottica made the painful decision to exit 13,000 points of sale during the early 2000s, sacrificing revenue for the short term from the belief that could pay off later. The company was making eyewear for luxury names like Bulgari, Chanel and Armani, so it already had ins with high-end stores. By 2004, Luxottica was able to leverage the improved reputation of Ray-Ban to command higher prices again, selling the shades at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. In 2000, a year once the acquisition, the starting price for a set of Aviators was $79. 2 yrs next, which had risen to $89. And by 2009, as Ray-Ban started using newer materials like lightweight carbon fiber plus more sophisticated lens technology, the entry price had reached $129.”We found it necessary to clean the marketplace of countless items of low-quality, old Ray-Bans and cleanup the distribution,” says Volpetti.
In 2000, each one of Ray-Ban sales were for non-prescription sunglasses. Luxottica, tapping its core strength inside the prescription-sunglasses area, brought Ray-Ban into its “optical” business three years later. Fast forward to 2015, and some 30% of Ray-Ban revenues are derived from prescription glasses, that are generally pricier and a lot more profitable.
Ray-Ban has also moved into personalized products. In 2013, it launched Re-Mix, allowing customers for the first time to customize their glasses themselves by mixing different frames, materials and designs in 220,000 different possible permutations. Re-Mix now generates 40% of your brand’s online revenues. Last year, Ray-Ban also started offering its shades in new and unusual forms, selling Wayfarers created from leather, denim and velvet, among other materials.
The company 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 assist Ray-Ban keep its market lead. A store will offer you live performances, film screenings, art shows and exhibits that showcase the brand’s long history.
Volpetti says Luxottica is set to use the lessons from the last 15 years to actually enter China. (Ray-Ban remains an overwhelmingly European and North American brand.) Which dexjpky53 selectively choosing what stores will carry the sunglasses in China, deciding on better doors regardless of whether this means a slower entry. The marketing will emphasize Ray-Ban’s background of innovation and because the preferred sunglasses in the Hollywood set, something Volpetti says Chinese customers aren’t conscious of yet.
Beyond China, the secret weapon to success for ray bans 90 off will be to continue to tap what managed to get a top name in the first place: good-looking shades that don’t try too difficult to become fashion-forward, while boasting the most recent technical advances. Such advances range from the utilization in its Liteforce variety of super light and resistant material of the kind aerospace companies use. Ray-Ban can also be about to launch its “Chromance” lens, in which the company claims uses color enhancement technology so people are able to see colors and contrasts better.
“Given that the emblem is constantly balance those two dimensions, technical innovation and counterculture stylishness, it’s going to be fine,” says Joe Jackman, a retail industry consultant whose firm Jackman Reinvents targets brand revitalization. (Ray-Ban is not really a Jackman client.) “The manufacturer includes a clear and true DNA and also as long it keeps the balance chances are they will read as authentic.”