Why are most sunglasses so expensive? | Part one
Posted on December 05 2016
THE GREAT SUNGLASSES MONOPOLY – AN ILLUSION OF CHOICE:
Choosing the right pair of sunglasses can be an exciting thing to do – what is better than sitting on the beach, looking great in your newest pair of shades?
Branded shades have created a want in consumers over the years, and lately this has turned into a need. It is no secret that the majority of sunglasses are extremely expensive, some of them might even end up costing you as much as your smartphone, if not more.
Sure, they protect your eyes against harmful UV rays, but if truth be told, manufacturing lenses that offer UV400 protection is not that expensive, so what’s going on?
Have you ever wondered why sunglasses from big houses and popular high street brands are so expensive?
Here's the deal, it’s due to a lack of competition.
But how can this be? There are so many sunglasses brands to choose from!
What if I told you that over 80% of the major eyewear brands are owned by the same company, including the world’s No.1 seller Ray-Ban?
That’s right, one single giant eyewear brand Luxottica owns Ray-Ban, as well as Oakley, Persol, Oliver Peoples and the list goes on and on. They also own popular retailers (Sunglasses Hut, Lens Crafters, Target Optical, Sears Optical, Pearl Vision) as well as a few a few vision insurance companies too.
So now it’s all starting to make sense, if you own the brand, the retail outlet and the insurance company you pretty much get to charge whatever you want.
“Everything is worth what people are ready to pay” Andrea Guerra, CEO, Luxottica, 60 Minutes interview, 2014
In part 2 we'll explore why you may never have heard of Luxottica and how a company can use a monopoly to it's own advantage.
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