We all want a luxurious pair of Ray Ban, Armani, or Oakley sunglasses. They look great, are well made, and give a sense of pride for the wearer, having spent a decent chunk of change of a luxury brand.
But what are you really getting? Let's take a look at Luxottica, the company most have never heard of. Maybe you have heard of Lenscrafters, Sunglasses Hut, Oakley, Ray-Ban, Arnette, Coach, Versace, Chanel, DKNY and on and on.... Wall Street Journal columnist Brett Arends says the appearance of variety is an optical illusion, with a full 80% of all eyewear brands that are actually only one company. That also includes many retailers you would never think of, such as Target's optical department, Sears Optical, Pearle Vision... you get the idea. Did you know Luxottica will also be designing, producing, and distributing Google Glass?
60 minutes did an eye opening story on Luxottica, (link below) which made over 77 million pairs of sunglasses in 2013. Sunglasses are basically a few pieces of cheap plastic, screws and wood, so how can they charge several hundred dollars for one pair of sunglasses? The answer is of course they have a complete monopoly over the brand name sunglasses market.
Did you know Ray-Ban sunglasses used to cost under $30, not much more than the sunglasses available in many markets for around $20.00. This was of course, before they were bought by Luxottica. Once Luxottica took hold, the prices shot up to a few hundred dollars, yet the product remained identical. There was a good profit being made selling at $30.00, what are you paying for when you buy Ray-Bans at $150.00? Are you getting a good value? For some, the answer is still yes. But for most, a great looking and quality pair of sunglasses doesn't have to cost hundreds. At johnnyshades.com you get a great quality pair of stylish sunglasses, at a real world market value, that are made from the same plastic, wood, metal and screws as designer sunglasses that are priced hundreds of dollars higher.
Written by Jeffrey Wittmeier