Sales of sunglasses rise significantly
This very sunny and hot summer has been very profitable for the sunglasses market.
By Eva Morletto31 août 2022
Eyewear manufacturers of all brands saw their turnover rise during a particularly sunny season. Francesco Milleri, CEO of EssilorLuxottica, the sector leader, announced at the end of June that sales for the first half of the year were close to 12 billion euros, with growth of 9.1% (at constant exchange rates, 14.7% in published figures). The Franco-Italian giant, faced with ever-increasing demand, has just signed an agreement with the company's trade unions to significantly increase production in its Italian plants and proportionally increase employees' wages. EssilorLuxottica's success is due to its portfolio of varied brands, including Ray Ban, Oakley, Persol and Vogue Eyewear. But the empire shaped by Leonardo Del Vecchio is not the only one to be successful.
This year Kering Eyewear, the branch of François-Henri Pinault's group dedicated to eyewear, announced that it had achieved 576 million euros in turnover, representing a 50% increase over one year. In September 2021, and then in spring 2022, Kering Eyewear made two major acquisitions: Lindberg, a very high-end niche brand from Denmark, and Maui Jim, the largest independent sunglasses brand, founded in 1987 in Hawaii. Maui Jim has a turnover of around 350 million euros, 85% of which is generated in the United States.
These two recent acquisitions, motivated by a buoyant market, have marked the history of Kering Eyewear, propelling the subsidiary of the luxury group, which was created barely eight years ago, to become the second most important player in the world of eyewear, just behind EssilorLuxottica.
Other brands have also achieved important milestones in the last two years in the eyewear sector. This is the case of Isabel Marant, which in 2020 signed a ten-year global licensing agreement with Safilo, boosting this segment of the brand's business.
The success of sunglasses also led the luxury group LVMH to acquire last year 100% of the company Thélios, based in the Italian Dolomites, which is now a production plant for sunglasses for the various brands in the LVMH galaxy (Céline, Fendi, Dior, Givenchy among others).
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