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EssilorLuxottica Plans $8B Acquisition of Optical Retailer

GrandVision has over 7,200 stores globally.

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EssilorLuxottica announced plans to acquire GrandVision, a Netherlands-based optical retailer, in a deal worth up to $8 billion.

The company, which makes ophthalmic lenses, frames and sunglasses, will acquire Hal Optical Investments B.V.’s 76.72% interest in GrandVision, then launch a mandatory public offer for all outstanding GrandVision shares, according to a press release.

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Through the acquisition, EssilorLuxottica will expand its optical retail platform, primarily in Europe, by adding more than 7,200 stores globally, over 37,000 employees and $4.1 billion in annual revenue.

Among GrandVision’s holdings are the For Eyes chain in the U.S. and Vision Express in Great Britain. Reuters notes that the deal will give EssilorLuxottica “control of more than 7,000 outlets across the world where it already sells brands including Varilux lenses and Ray-Ban sunglasses.”

The transaction is expected to close in 12 to 24 months. It is subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

EssilorLuxottica currently operates over 10,000 stores and several proprietary online platforms with a strong presence in the Americas. GrandVision operates more than 7,200 optical stores and online platforms in more than 40 different countries, with a strong presence in Europe and Latin America.

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Leonardo Del Vecchio, executive chairman of EssilorLuxottica, said: “Following the creation of EssilorLuxottica, which I strongly pursued, the acquisition of GrandVision represents the realization of a vision that has guided my actions and the growth of Luxottica over all these years. With GrandVision we will be able to develop our retail network, finally extended throughout the geographies, and fully enable our multichannel and digital platforms. We will raise the quality of in-store experience for products, brands and services for the benefit of all consumers and our wholesale customers.”

Stephan Borchert, CEO of GrandVision, said: “The future integration of GrandVision with EssilorLuxottica brings new opportunities to GrandVision’s business, its well-established retail banners, stores, employees and all our stakeholders. Furthermore, it will create a truly global eyecare and eyewear company that is ideally positioned to capture changing consumer needs and behaviors, and provide its customers with a high quality optical omni-channel customer experience. This transaction is expected to provide value to GrandVision’s shareholders, while allowing for the acceleration of GrandVision’s growth strategy through the expansion of our store network and online platforms. EssilorLuxottica’s interest in joining forces with GrandVision is a clear recognition of GrandVision’s successful strategy, our state-of-the-art retail platform and our people. We look forward to joining forces with EssilorLuxottica in what will be an exciting new chapter ahead.”

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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Optical Retailer to Add 25 Stores, Expand Into 4 New States

It’s entering the Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Wyoming markets.

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DALLAS –Dallas-based optical retailer Eyemart Express announced that it plans to have 25 new locations operating by the end up 2019.

The company currently owns and operates 206 stores in 38 states, according to a press release. It’s expanding into four additional states: Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.

“The drive behind our aggressive growth strategy is to make prescription eyewear accessible and convenient for more communities,” said Michael Bender, Eyemart Express CEO. “Seeing clearly should not be a burden or an excessive expense for any family. We work hard to make all our locations an affordable one-stop shop for all eyewear needs.”

Eyemart Express carries more than 2,000 frames for prescription glasses and sunglasses, ranging from exclusive private label brands to well-known brands such as Converse, Longchamp, Calvin Klein, Ray-Ban and Nike. Stores also feature onsite labs so 90 percent of glasses can be ordered and received on the same day.

“Eyemart Express’ growth helps entire communities as well. Job creation is an important factor in determining new store locations — we examine where Eyemart Express can make the biggest contribution to local economies with career opportunities,” said Bender.

More than 300 jobs will be created for hourly wage earners as a result of the optical retailer’s expansion.

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Warby Parker Rolls Out 5 Extended Sizes

They range from ‘extra narrow’ to ‘extra wide.’

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Eyewear  retailer Warby Parker is launching an “extended sizes” collection to help more consumers benefit from its products.

It features “five proportional sizes, ranging from ‘extra narrow’ to ‘extra wide’ and even including low bridge options,” the Observer reports.

Twenty-seven styles are available in seven best-selling frames.

To leverage augmented reality, the company utilized Apple’s ARKit and TrueDepth camera to create software that evaluates proper fit, according to the Observer.

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Warby Parker co-founder Dave Gilboa was quoted saying, “We started getting feedback from our customers saying, ‘I love these styles, but you don’t have anything that fits me’ or ‘you only offer one frame that fits me.’”

Chain Store Age reports that Warby Parker spent two years developing the new sizes.

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Vision Health Firm Buys Italian Company Focused on Retinal Screening and Telehealth

Next Sight develops robotic and IT technologies to provide ophthalmic diagnostic solutions.

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Luneau Technology has acquired Next Sight, an Italian company specialized in retinal screening and telehealth.

This acquisition “brings to Luneau increased capabilities – covering both Back and Front of the eye – to propose a comprehensive eye exam, which is a key customer need” and it “supports and brings a set of experience and technology which will help to drive forward a focus on a range of telehealth solutions for Luneau Technology group,” according to a press release.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Paola Griggio, CEO of Next Sight, will continue to manage initiatives around retinal topics and will also take up a key leadership role as she is appointed vice president for telehealth at Luneau Technology.

Marc Abitbol, president and CEO Luneau Technology, said, “It is a great opportunity for Luneau Technology to expand our offer.

“We are very excited to enter the telehealth space and welcome Paola among our management team to lead this new capability for the group.”

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Luneau Technology produces devices aimed at ophthalmic, optometrists and optical professionals.

Next Sight develops robotic and IT technologies to provide ophthalmic diagnostic solutions. Next Sight produces Nexy, a device which allows retina screening through a platform to securely send patient data to remote locations.

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