Sunglass Hut accelerates retail deployment in France
Two months after opening a branch at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris, Sunglass Hut will open a new store at the city’s Saint-Lazare station in May. The sunglasses chain owned by Italian eyewear giant Luxottica is stepping up the pace of its retail deployment in France, choosing high-footfall locations. And to boost visibility, Sunglass Hut also recently opened a pop-up store at renowned beach club Nikki Beach in Saint-Tropez.
Sunglass Hut landed in France at the start of 2016, becoming the exclusive sunglasses retailer for the Galeries Lafayette department store chain. Sunglass Hut is now present in over 50 Galeries Lafayette branches with independently managed concessions. The latter account for nearly 80% of Sunglass Hut’s French sales, the remaining 20% split between the monobrand stores in Paris, Nice and Cannes, and the outlet stores at Vallée Village and Romans-sur-Izère.
Sunglass Hut shops extend on average over 60 square metres and sell about 30 brands of sunglasses, between those owned by Luxottica, like RayBan and Vogue, brands licensed to Luxottica, like Prada and Miu Miu, and third-party brands like Gucci and Dior. To boost the range available at its brick-and-mortar stores, Sunglass Hut will install touch screens in the third quarter, enabling store customers to order from the chain's entire product range. The chain is currently installing these devices at Galeries Lafayette branches.
Sunglass Hut was founded in the USA in 1971 and was bought by Luxottica in 2001 for €680 million. It currently operates 3,000 stores worldwide, of which 2,000 in the USA. Spain is one of the chain’s top performing markets, with nearly 150 stores, a number that Fabio Musy, general manager of Luxottica Retail for France, is setting himself as target.
The Luxottica group recently merged with French ophthalmic lenses giant Essilor, and delisted from the Milan stock exchange last March. The group is very close-mouthed about its financial performance. In 2018, Luxottica generated a revenue of about €9 billion.
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