If you spend some time reading up on the latest information about the eyewear world, you may have notice something swallowing up fan-favorite brands (ex. Oakley, Ray-Ban, Oliver Peoples). Not in the way that these names are disappearing from the shelves, but they are now part of an exponentially growing umbrella company; EssilorLuxottica. Much like when a toddler at daycare tries to hog all the blocks, EssilorLuxottica is trying to own everything optical. Sure, growth is a great thing for businesses to aim for. However, in the process of doing this, they are also aiming to take out any form of competition that stands in their way – including the independent optical shops. How does this affect consumers? Read on.
Prism Optical has been in business for about 3 decades. It is a prime example of a neighborhood independent optical shop that strives to keep its visitors’ satisfaction at the forefront. Now, places like Prism are being asked to make an offer that seems too good to be true. And yes, that’s a bit cliche, but hear us out. The package offer itself is specific to the lens products EssilorLuxottica carries, most of which come at a higher price than other choices. However, the catch is that they also want your personal information. Their goal is to take that data and use it to cut out the local independent optical shops. They want to source directly to you. In turn, shutting down places like Prism Optical, without having to lift a finger.
If that doesn’t drive the point home, consider the idea of competition. In sports, it helps to drive motivation for the athletes to get stronger, run faster and push themselves harder. In the business world, competition drives companies to maintain standards for their customers, ensure quality of their services, and innovation. If EssilorLuxottica is successful in dominating the optical industry, and there is no competition to keep them in check, what do you think will happen with the quality, service and care that you once received from your local independent optical? Not only that, they will be entirely in control of pricing and product availability for all frames, lenses and vision insurance. Things will get more expensive for everyone, even for consumers who have insurance through EyeMed, which is also under their umbrella.