We figured we’d post something SPOOKY for Halloween. What’s in the picture?
Have you ever wondered why eyewear costs so much these days? In a recent 60 Minutes expose´, reporter Lesley Stahl uncovered the truth behind the rising prices of today’s eyeglasses. The reason? One company owns a huge portion of the market.
One Glasses Manufacturer to Rule Them All
In her revealing 60 Minutes report, Stahl discovered that Luxottica, the Italian eyewear manufacturer, owns nearly every recognizable brand of eyewear in the world. Top designer brands like Ray-Ban, Oakley, Coach, Dolce Gabbana, Prada, Tiffany, Bulgari and dozens of others are all designed and manufactured by Luxottica. And it doesn’t stop there. Luxottica also owns a majority of the eyewear stores in the United States. Lenscrafters, Pearle Vision, Sunglass Hut, Oliver Peoples, Sears Optical, and Target Optical are all owned by the Italian company.
What does this mean to American consumers?
It means that Luxottica can charge whatever they want to for their eye glasses because they not only make most of the frames found on the market, but they also own most of the retail outlets where you traditionally buy eyewear. This is why a pair of eyeglasses that used to cost around $30 about ten years ago now costs a couple of hundred dollars. And according to Stahl’s 60 Minutes report, unlike most companies that sell their own brand of product, Luxottica doesn’t discount the price of their own frames in their own stores.
Thankfully, Affordable Eyewear is Still Available
While Luxottica may have a lion’s share of the brick-and-mortar eyewear market, there are still affordable options for Americans who want high quality eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses without being forced to pay excessive prices. 39DollarGlasses.com is a New York-based company that has been selling affordable eyewear online since 2001.
39DollarGlasses.com offers eyewear made from the same high-quality materials used to make premium brand eyewear, yet the company only charges $39 for a base pair of glasses. And unlike other eyeglasses retailers, 39DollarGlasses.com doesn’t charge extra for anti-scratch and 100% UV coatings and polished lens edges.
Get Eyewear That Fits, Delivered Fast!
Besides offering frames that stand toe-to-toe with today’s hottest frame fashions and designer trends, 39DollarGlasses.com makes it easy to buy frames that fit perfectly. Using ExactFit™ technology, shoppers can upload their own pictures on the website so they can see exactly what the frames are going to look like on their faces before making a purchase. And, because all orders are manufactured and shipped from the company’s Long Island, NY office, American consumers can get their glasses shipped direct to them instead of waiting for their glasses to make their way through customs.
To read more about Lesley Stahl’s eye-opening 60 Minutes report, click here. Or, to find more affordable eyewear options for everyone in the family, please visit 39DollarGlasses.com.
How many of us have rolled our eyes as we got something practical for a gift? You wanted the latest electronic gadget and you got socks. You needed that pair of fancy shoes and you got shampoo. Ok, maybe these are a bit extreme (especially if you got shampoo as a gift); but we’ve all been there.
But there are some “practical” items that are breaking out their hapless notoriety and becoming something of want! Eyeglasses are becoming a “must have” gift for 2011.
Let’s look at some statistics. According to the Vision Council of America, roughly 75% of adults use some form of vision correction. About 64% of them wear eyeglasses, and approximately 11% wear contact lenses, either exclusively or with glasses. More than half of all women and about 42% of men wear glasses. Eyeglasses have become extension of our individual style.
Technology has allowed eyeglasses to become lighter, brighter and stylish. Heavy, thick glass or standard plastic lenses are being replaced with lightweight polycarbonate lenses. Materials like titanium and newer spins on classic metal plastic styles are bringing an aura of coolness to boring frames. Even photochromic lenses in all the colors of the rainbow are making assembly line type glasses into unique eye specs that everyone is talking about.
“We have seen glasses being bought without Rx lenses simply for the fashion statement” said John Schofield, Director of Marketing for 39DollarGlasses.com. “People are buying glasses because they need them, but they will no longer settle for just any frame .”
2011 has seen an explosion of new styles and colors and with advancements in technology; costs have been reduced to allow customers to buy several pairs to match their different styles. So the next time you think “practical” gift consider giving glasses!