LensCrafters is an international retailer of prescription eyewear and prescription sunglasses. Its stores usually host independent optometrists on-site or in an adjacent store. The company has its corporate headquarters in Mason, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati in the US.

IndustryEye care
FoundedMarch 1983; 40 years ago (1983-03)
FoundersE. Dean Butler
HeadquartersMason, Ohio, U.S.
Number of locations
Areas served
United States
Puerto Rico
Hong Kong
ProductsEyewear, glasses, sunglasses
ParentUnited States Shoe Corporation
EssilorLuxottica (2018-present)
LensCrafters Optique store in Ann Arbor, MI

LensCrafters has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Luxottica (which has since merged with Essilor to form EssilorLuxottica),[1] the largest eyewear company in the world, since 1995.[2][3] At the end of 2018, Luxottica operated 1,158 LensCrafters stores, of which 1,050 are located in North America and 108 are located in China, Hong Kong and India.[4]

History Edit

LensCrafters was founded in March 1983 by E. Dean Butler, who had been a manager with Procter & Gamble.[5][6][7][8] Butler first developed the idea for a "while you wait" eyeglass retailer after helping a Procter & Gamble colleague produce television commercials for a family optical business in the late 1970s.[5]

LensCrafters achieved sales of $2 million in its first year of operation[9] before Butler sold the company to the United States Shoe Corporation in 1984.[10][8] Butler remained as LensCrafters' CEO until 1988.[11]

LensCrafters had just three locations when U.S. Shoe purchased it; by 1989, there were 350 locations, and LensCrafters was generating 40% of U.S. Shoe's operating income.[12]

In 1992, LensCrafters surpassed Pearle Vision to become the largest chain of eyeglass retailers in the United States, with roughly $660 million in annual revenue.[8]

In 1995, Luxottica launched a hostile takeover attempt of U.S. Shoe, with the goal of acquiring LensCrafters.[13] Luxottica announced in April 1995, that it had reached an agreement to purchase U.S. Shoe for $1.4 billion.[14]

Luxottica acquired Pearle Vision in 2004, combining the country's two largest eyewear retailers.[15]

References Edit

  1. ^ "Essilor to Buy Ray-Ban Maker Luxottica for About $24 Billion". Bloomberg.com. 2017-01-15. Retrieved 2023-08-14.
  2. ^ "At LensCrafters selling candor and designer frames", New York Times (April 16, 2006).
  3. ^ "U.S. Shoe Agrees to $1.3-Billion Takeover Offer". LA Times. April 17, 1995. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  4. ^ "Luxottica Annual Report 2018" (PDF). Luxottica. 2019-04-10. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  5. ^ a b "E. Dean Butler: An alumnus with a clear vision". natsci.msu.edu. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  6. ^ Knight, Sam (2018-05-10). "The spectacular power of Big Lens | The long read". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  7. ^ Lieber, Chavie (2019-03-06). "Glasses can have a markup of 1,000%. Two former LensCrafters executives revealed why". Vox. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  8. ^ a b c "History of LensCrafters Inc. – FundingUniverse". www.fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  9. ^ "Dean Butler | Bio | Premiere Speakers Bureau". premierespeakers.com. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  10. ^ "Mason's LensCrafters now part of $52.5B eyewear giant". Cincinnati.com. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  11. ^ "E. Dean Butler: Executive Profile & Biography - Bloomberg". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  12. ^ "LensCrafters Inc.". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  13. ^ "U.S. Shoe, Luxottica Courting Shareholders In Takeover Battle". Hartford Courant. March 31, 1995. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  14. ^ "Luxottica to Acquire U.S. Shoe for $1.4 Billion". The New York Times. April 18, 1995. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  15. ^ Emsden, Christopher; Rohwedder, Cecilie (27 January 2004). "Italy's Luxottica Agrees to Pay $441 Million for Cole National". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2019-06-18.

External links Edit