How Ray-Ban Hit Rock Bottom and Lived to Tell About It


The brand was in serious trouble before Luxottica saved it.

Before Ray-Ban became the world’s largest sunglasses brand, it reached a low point in the late-90s that required a major overhaul to fix, as Fortune’s Phil Wahba details. Wabha explains how Luxottica, after buying Ray-Ban as part of a $640 million deal, implemented a two-phase turnaround strategy that pulled its then-flimsy sunglasses out of gas stations and revived it as a high-end brand. “As long as the brand continues to balance those two dimensions, technical innovation and counterculture stylishness, it’s going to be fine,” Joe Jackman, a retail industry consultant, told the magazine. “The brand has a clear and true DNA, and as long it keeps the balance then they will read as authentic.”

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