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Luxottica Unveils ‘Digital Vision’ for Optical Businesses

Customization is key, according to the company.

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MILAN, ITALY — Luxottica Group S.p.A. unveiled its “digital vision” for optical practices and retail stores, presenting a series of digital innovations at the global eyewear and eyecare show MIDO in Milan.

Over the past four years, Luxottica has invested heavily in its own digital transformation, developing platforms that connect its operations to its customers and consumers, according to a press release.

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“Today, this radical technological change inside Luxottica allows the Group to propose digital opportunities and services for the benefit of the entire optical sector, paving the way for a process of innovation that will benefit all industry stakeholders,” the release explains.

“Digital is the future for Luxottica and for the entire industry,” said Leonardo Del Vecchio, executive chairman of Luxottica. “Today, we must face new challenges to keep up with the times and satisfy the changing behaviours of consumers who are influenced by new technologies. In this transformation, we want to be even closer to our optical clients and continue to invest to bring them all the benefits that only digital innovation can guarantee. The watchword is ‘customization’ of products and services, and today we are showcasing the tools to make this a reality.”

At MIDO 2019, which ran Feb. 23-25, Luxottica previewed “an innovative concept that allows eyewear consumers to interact digitally with Luxottica’s entire catalogue of products inside the practice of any optometrist or optician,” according to the release.

The company continues:

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“At the heart of the new in-store experience is a smart shopper where users can explore, with the help of the associate, Luxottica’s collections and brands in an intuitive way, through easily navigable categories.

“The virtual interface, fully integrated with Luxottica’s digital infrastructure, is tailor-made for each customer as it can be personalized in terms of graphics and logo and linked ‘intelligently’ to the collections in-store.

“Moreover, consumers can virtually wear any model appearing in the catalogue in every variant of colour, even if not available in the store, thanks to augmented reality and advanced proprietary virtual mirroring technologies.

“For the first time in an optical store context, consumers will be able to customize their Ray-Ban and Oakley models through an interactive screen, choosing colour, frames, lenses, temples, tips and cases or requesting engravings and decorations to make the eyewear selection a very personal experience.”

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 21 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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Eyewear Chain Launches Drive-Through Pickup Service

The company says the offering is ‘the first of its kind.’

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My Eyelab, a chain of retail optical centers, has launched a drive-through service at one of its stores.

Customers of the store at 3170 Gulf Fwy S in League City, TX, will have “the option to pick up their eyewear purchases without getting out of their car,” according to a press release from the company.
My Eyelab states that the service is “the first of its kind.”

Customers will still be required to come into the store for their initial eye exam appointment, but will have this option when their order is ready for pickup, the company notes. Hours for the drive-through pickup lane are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4:30 pm.

“The days of searching for parking or getting out of your car in extreme weather conditions in order to receive and fully enjoy your new eyewear are over!” said Daniel Stanton, CEO and founder of Stanton Optical and My Eyelab. “We are continuously looking for new ways to build on and improve the overall guest experience as well as increase the enjoyment of buying eyewear, so we are really excited to introduce this innovative concept.”

My Eyelab plans to launch an additional four locations throughout Texas with the drive-through pick-up service opportunity this summer.

Vision Precision Holdings, now known as Now Optics, whose retail divisions include Stanton Optical and My Eyelab, has a combined 140 corporate and franchise locations across the country.

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EssilorLuxottica Begins CEO Search

The goal is to fill the job by the end of 2020.

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The EssilorLuxottica nomination and compensation committee has retained two recruitment agencies to assist in finding candidates for the CEO role.

The mandate was given to Russell Reynolds Associates and Eric Salmon & Partners and includes evaluations of both internal and external candidates. Russell Reynolds Associates will coordinate the process.

The goal is to appoint a chief executive by the end of 2020, according to a press release from the company.

The future CEO will be agreed upon and proposed to the board of directors for joint appointment by both the executive chairman and the executive vice chairman and recommended by the nomination and compensation committee.

The selected candidate will initially be appointed as “directeur général délégué.”

The executive “shall be in charge of coordinating the activities of EssilorLuxottica as a pure holding and assisting the Executive Chairman and the Executive Vice-Chairman in their efforts to facilitate the integration of Essilor and Luxottica,” according to the release.

Essilor and Luxottica completed their merger in October. The organization has since been plagued by infighting among its leadership.

Media reports last month stated that the top shareholder of EssilorLuxottica had, through his holding company Delfin, asked for arbitration to address alleged violations of the merger agreement.

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Vision Biotech Firm Changes Name

The company focuses on gene therapy.

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Ophthotech Corp., a biotech company focused on diseases of the eye, announced that it is changing its name to IVERIC bio Inc.

The change is part of a “transition strategy to focus on discovering and developing novel gene therapy solutions to treat orphan inherited retinal diseases with unmet medical needs,” the company said in a press release.

The firm will trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the new ticker symbol “ISEE.” Its new corporate website at www.ivericbio.com.

“We are excited about our re-branding and corporate name change reflecting our transition to a gene therapy focused company developing treatments for patients with orphan inherited retinal diseases,” stated Glenn P. Sblendorio, CEO and president of IVERIC bio. “We are executing a strategy that leverages our retinal expertise and provides a clear path forward with multiple orphan IRD gene therapy programs.

“We believe this is an important time for the Company as we advance our diversified pipeline of scientifically compelling gene therapy programs and explore new gene therapy opportunities for the treatment of orphan IRDs and generate value for our shareholders.”

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Dr. Kourous A. Rezaei, chief medical officer of IVERIC bio,  said: “We believe that gene therapy is the ideal solution to treat patients with orphan inherited retinal diseases for which there are no treatment options available.

“Our goal is to partner with physicians to address this significant unmet medical need, prevent vision loss and transform the lives of our patients. We look forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead. Our clinical therapeutic programs continue to remain on track, with clinical data expected by the end of 2019 and 2020 for these programs. If data are positive for these programs, we may seek partnership opportunities for future clincal development.”

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