Since you clicked on this link, it’s safe to assume that you like sunglasses. And since you like sunglasses, here is a simple question for you. Which is the biggest eyewear brand in the world? Oakley? Close but no. Ray-Ban, surely? Actually, it doesn’t even matter because Luxottica owns them both. In fact, the next time you buy a shiny new pair of $500 Bvlgari sunglasses, remember that you are actually buying the sunglasses from this little known American company owned by the Italians.
Thank you for stumbling upon How Big Are They and today, we are going to have an eye-opening experience about the biggest eyewear brand in the world, Luxottica!
Not too long ago, the concept of blind dates was a bit different. You had to stay blind to get a date, glasses were that uncool! Luxottica, established in 1961, turned that around and in the process, it transformed those nerdy glasses into a fashion statement, into the face jewelry of today. It also became one of the biggest yet relatively unknown monopolies in the world. This is the reason why Luxottica makes spectacles and sunglasses for almost every single premium fashion house that you can think of. Armani? Check! Michael Kors? Check! Prada? Check! Wallet empty? Check!
With so many brands to sell, it is no surprise that it manufactured more than 93 million sunglasses just last year. That’s almost 8 million glasses every month or 1.5 million shades every week and about 250,000 frames every day. That’s 10 times more than the number of breaths you, I and a Luxottica employee take every day (23,000 breaths a day).
Speaking of employees, with more than 79,000 full-time employees, Luxottica employs more people than Facebook and Adidas combined! As a matter of fact, it has more employees than Google. Speaking of Google, Luxottica partnered with Google to make Google Glass. I bet you didn’t know that. What you also might know is that Luxottica employs more people than Jimmy Choo, Gucci, Armani, Prada, and Chanel combined!
Not only that, they don’t just make sunglasses, they sell them as well. Turns out, Luxottica has twice the number of retail stores as Louis Vuitton (3,700). And you probably haven’t even seen any. This is because Luxottica owns retail stores like Sunglass Hut, the largest sunglass chain in the world. It also owns Target Optical, LensCrafter, and many other major retail sunglasses stores. They are present in more than 150 countries and probably, up until now, you hadn’t even heard of them.
This monopoly over the entire eyewear industry might make you believe that Luxottica makes some good money. If so then you are not wrong. In 2015, Luxottica ($8.8 billion) had more sales than Cartier ($6.1 billion), Rolex ($4.7 billion), Gucci ($4.3 billion) and Prada ($3.9 billion). In fact, it generated more revenue than, one of the most popular services in the world, Netflix ($7.1 billion).
The fact that Luxottica not only makes frames for almost every huge brand in the world but also owns the largest retail stores puts it in a unique position of being the price setter in the industry. So the next time your eyes pop up at the extravagant $500 price tag of a pair of frames that are not worth a penny more than $30, you know why it is so!
And there you have it. The biggest eyewear brand in the world that not many people even know the name of. Certainly I didn’t until I started reading about Ray Ban on Wikipedia for reasons unknown to me. Did you know about Luxottica before you read this post? If you didn’t, use the buttons below to share this with your friends. I bet most of them wouldn’t know either!
Thank you for reading and… *wears knockoff Ray-Ban*… I will catch you in the next one!