eTail East 2019

August 19 - 22, 2019

The Sheraton, Boston


Sunglass Hut Is An Omnichannel Retailer With 20/20 Vision

Luxottica – you may or may not have heard of the company, but it’s almost certain that you or someone you know owns a pair of their sunglasses. Luxottica Group is the largest eyewear company in the world, controlling approximately 80% of the major eyewear brands sold globally.

Lenscrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, Sunglass Hut – if you’ve ever been into any of these stores, then you’ve been to Luxottica. Oakley, Persol, Ray-Ban, Mosley Tribes, Oliver Peoples – if you’ve ever donned the eyewear from any of these brands, then you’ve looked at the world through a Luxottica lens.

And even beyond its proprietary brands, Luxottica has exclusive license agreements to build frames and lenses for some of the most desirable, high fashion names in the business –Versace, Chanel, Prada, D&G, Armani, Paul Smith, Burberry to name but a few.

It’s an impressive résumé indeed – but behind such great control is even greater innovation that keeps the market sharply focused on Luxottica’s myriad offerings.

Seeing Omnichannel With 20/20 Vision

With such a substantial share of the market that spans across so many vendors and product lines, Luxottica has a unique standing from which it can capitalize on many of the very best revenue-driving customer conveniences that omnichannel has to offer.

In 2013, when Luxottica operated more than 4,800 retail locations across North America, the company announced a $250 million investment for continued expansion. A large chunk of this went straight into the opening of an additional 400 Lenscrafters locations, 69 additional Target Optical Branches, and a heavy remodeling of the more than 700 Sunglass Huts located in Macy’s. But the focus at this time was to do more than simply open up a bunch of new stores and give some old ones a quick refurb – rather, it was to make the investment work for the omnichannel era of modern retail.

Upon the announcement of the investment, Mark Weikel, Luxottica Retail Optical North America Group (RONA) president and general manager, commented in CloudTags that the optical industry was “ripe for change with omnichannel’s increasing popularity and the increasing purchasing frequency among consumers who are engaging with companies both in-store and online.”

Indeed, Weikel went onto note that another key goal of the $250 million investment was to help define Luxottica’s "digital journey and some of the capabilities we want to develop like customer relationship management, mobile, Rx e-commerce, and imaging to elevate the game and enhance our relationships with customers to infuse the optical category with new experiences.”

Sunglass Hut’s Customer Service Focus

Luxottica was – and indeed still is –working with a formula that was proving itself a success. A customer-oriented omnichannel strategy is indeed one that is practically bound to pay off. An Aberdeen Group report entitled Omnichannel Customer Care, found that companies that adopt omnichannel customer care strategies, compared to firms that don't, achieve 91% greater year-over-year increases in client retention rates. These organizations also enjoy superior financial results in key measures such as customer profitability and lifetime value.

The report even goes on to highlight that Best-in-Class performers – of which Luxottica-owned Sunglass Hut was one – that continuously and seamlessly engage customers across multiple channels achieve an “8.5% average year-over-year improvement in first contact resolution rates” and a “7.5% average year-over-year improvement (decrease) in average cost per customer contact.”

Fabio d’Angelantonio, the then President at Luxottica Retail Sun & Luxury, which includes the Sunglass Hut brand, spoke to Retail TouchPoints about customer service excellence:

“When you have more than 2,000 stores worldwide, stellar customer service is essential and has become a key differentiator of the Sunglass Hut experience. We want our customers to have the same consistent experience, whether in-store in New York, Sydney or London, or across the Sunglass Hut digital channels.”

With a huge assortment of sunglass brands available, d’Angelantonio said that Sunglass Hut “has a great opportunity to get the most out of omnichannel to meet our customers’ needs: We’re constantly exploring new opportunities, how omnichannel can enhance customer relationships, and ways to infuse and simplify the category with new experiences.”

Speaking at Luxury Interactive – Mary Anne Stangby, Senior Vice President, Sunglass Hut, Luxottica Retail North America

One of our most exciting guest speakers at Luxury Interactive this year is Mary Anne Stangby, Senior Vice President for Sunglass Hut North America, responsible for the strategic leadership & financial results of over 1900 stores.

Her talk on day one of Luxury Interactive,entitled Cultivating A Love Brand’, will focus on developing customer interactions along every stage of the shopping journey. Each interaction, Stangby says, is “an opportunity to connect and engage with your customers in ways that matter to them. Whether on an e-commerce site, in a retail store, in an email, text or on social media, your customers expect messages to resonate with them, interactions to be memorable, content to be useful, and products/offers to be relevant to their needs.”

Stangby will be highlighting how Sunglass Hut has worked to deliver these experiences for customers through embracing omnichannel, consumer intimacy, and providing personal and memorable interactions across all marketing and sales channels as consumers strive to find their perfect pair of designer sunglasses. This opening session from one of Luxottica’s top strategists is not to be missed. 


About John Waldron: John Waldron is a technology and business writer for markITwrite digital content agency, based in Cornwall, UK. He writes regularly across all aspects of marketing and tech, including SEO, social media, FinTech, IoT, apps and software development.