Nowadays, cheap ray bans is available selling for up to $300 at high-end stores like Nordstrom (jwn, 1.34%) and Neiman Marcus. The emblem recently opened its first ever flagship store, a sleek emporium inside the heart of Manhattan’s shopping mecca, SoHo. Of course, if you walk around capitals like London, Paris and Milan, it seems like anyone remotely stylish is sporting the shades.
But not that long ago, in 1999, the company is in a shambles, featuring its once-pioneering wares available for sale for $19 at countless gasoline stations and convenience stores. As well as the quality was awful: Ray-Ban was using antiquated tooling as well as its frames were flimsy.
It was in that rock-bottom point that Italian eyewear giant Luxottica bought Bausch & Lomb’s eyewear brands, with Ray-Ban as being the deal’s crown jewel, for $640 million in 1999. And because of an aggressive turnaround plan, Ray-Ban staged a remarkable comeback, one that it is making an effort to keep going. In 2000, Ray-Ban generated 252 million euros for Luxottica, or 10% of company sales. By 2014, which had risen greater than eightfold to 2.065 billion euros, or 27% of Luxottica sales. Ray-Bay now commands 5% from the global eye wear market, which is the greatest sunglasses brand, based on Euromonitor International data.
Before its decline, Ray-Ban had held a dominant spot in American popular culture, as a result of appearances in classic films from Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Top Gun. But looking to boost sales, B&L transformed Ray-Ban in a mass-market brand.
Audrey Hepburn sporting Ray-Bans from the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Photograph thanks to Paramount Pictures/Getty Images
In being able to bounce back, Ray-Ban is among the lucky ones. Few high-end brands that flirt with all the low-end live to tell the tale, ?as other brands are finding when they’ve lowered prices in a bid to participate the “accessible luxury” market.? So the Ray-Ban case instructive for a lot of labels planning to get back their aura..
Luxottica’s Chief Marketing Officer, Stefano Volpetti, recently spoke with Fortune about how the corporation returned luster towards the iconic logo and what its doing to help keep the momentum going.
The Ray-Ban brand first emerged like a major player in eyewear in 1929 once the Air Force asked Bausch & Lomb to build up a brand new form of eyewear that might protect pilots’ eyes from glare without compromising how well they can see. In 1936, Ray-Ban sold the resulting glasses, Aviator-style shades, to the public for the first time, plus an American icon was born.
When Luxottica bought Ray-Ban, it says, the brand’s frames fell apart four times faster compared to those of Luxottica’s other brands. In 2000, Luxottica consolidated production of ray ban sale canada from four outdated facilities in different areas on the planet to your cutting edge facility in Italy, where Luxottica manufactured other brands in the portfolio. Northeast Italy is actually a hub for premium eyewear, with the additional benefit of proximity to quality parts suppliers.
Convenience stores and gas stations will not be the very best avenues for cultivating an upscale image. So Luxottica made the painful decision to exit 13,000 points of sale during the early 2000s, sacrificing revenue for the short term inside the belief that will pay off later. The organization was making eyewear for luxury names like Bulgari, Chanel and Armani, so that it already had ins rich in-end stores. By 2004, Luxottica was able to leverage the improved standing of Ray-Ban to command higher prices again, selling the shades at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. In 2000, annually following the acquisition, the starting price for a set of Aviators was $79. 2 yrs next, who had risen to $89. And also 2009, as Ray-Ban started using newer materials like lightweight carbon fiber and a lot more sophisticated lens technology, the entry price had reached $129.”We required to clean the industry of countless pieces of low-quality, old Ray-Bans and tidy up the distribution,” says Volpetti.
In 2000, all of Ray-Ban sales were for non-prescription sunglasses. Luxottica, tapping its core strength inside the prescription-sunglasses area, brought Ray-Ban into its “optical” business 3 years later. Fast forward to 2015, and some 30% of Ray-Ban revenues result from prescription glasses, which are generally pricier and much more profitable.
Ray-Ban has also moved into personalized products. In 2013, it launched Re-Mix, allowing customers for the first time to customize their glasses themselves by mixing different frames, materials and styles in 220,000 different possible permutations. Re-Mix now generates 40% from the brand’s online revenues. This past year, Ray-Ban also started offering its shades in new and unusual forms, selling Wayfarers created from leather, denim and velvet, among other materials.
The emblem opened its first flagship in November, a 5,000 square-foot store in Manhattan’s hip SoHo area, that may be Luxottica says is crucial to providing the kinds of experiences that will help Ray-Ban keep its market lead. The store will provide live performances, film screenings, art shows and exhibits that showcase the brand’s long history.
Volpetti says Luxottica is established to work with the lessons in the last fifteen years to actually enter China. (Ray-Ban remains an overwhelmingly European and North American brand.) Which dexjpky53 selectively choosing what stores will carry the sunglasses in China, deciding on better doors regardless of whether which means a slower entry. The marketing will emphasize Ray-Ban’s history of innovation and as the preferred sunglasses of your Hollywood set, something Volpetti says Chinese customers aren’t conscious of yet.
Beyond China, the key to success for cheap sunglasses online will be to consistently tap what made it a top name for starters: good-looking shades that don’t try too difficult to become fashion-forward, while boasting the newest technical advances. Such advances range from the use within its Liteforce assortment of super light and resistant material from the kind aerospace companies use. Ray-Ban can also be planning to launch its “Chromance” lens, that the company claims uses color enhancement technology so people can see colors and contrasts better.
“Provided that the company consistently balance those two dimensions, technical innovation and counterculture stylishness, it’s will be fine,” says Joe Jackman, a retail industry consultant whose firm Jackman Reinvents is focused on brand revitalization. (Ray-Ban is not really a Jackman client.) “The company carries a clear and true DNA and as long it keeps the total amount chances are they will read as authentic.”