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Sun Oct 7, 2012, 10:16 PM

60 Minutes Exposes Disturbing Eyeware Monopoly-in-the-Making




The story starts off small, but by the end you'll be wondering if this is one of the best kept monopolies in the entire country -- and affecting anyone with requirements for optical services -- all housed in an Italian company disguising itself under an apparent camouflage of brand names. 60 Minutes investigation at its best, at least when it comes to finding the potential corrupting influences right under our noses. Literally.

Frankly, I was shocked how far this went into American brands and stores in the U.S. -- seems to me they have already achieved the term 'monopoly' but you be the judge.

22 replies, 6219 views

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply 60 Minutes Exposes Disturbing Eyeware Monopoly-in-the-Making (Original post)
tomm2thumbs Oct 2012 OP
Dawson Leery Oct 2012 #1
EnviroBat Oct 2012 #17
Dawson Leery Oct 2012 #22
progressoid Oct 2012 #2
TalkingDog Oct 2012 #3
dmr Oct 2012 #4
marezdotes Oct 2012 #5
TreasonousBastard Oct 2012 #6
Nostradammit Oct 2012 #21
Spitfire of ATJ Oct 2012 #7
Iwillnevergiveup Oct 2012 #8
Atman Oct 2012 #9
arikara Oct 2012 #10
Atman Oct 2012 #12
6502 Oct 2012 #11
tomm2thumbs Oct 2012 #13
Surya Gayatri Oct 2012 #14
fasttense Oct 2012 #15
greiner3 Oct 2012 #16
Plucketeer Oct 2012 #18
TruthBeTold65 Oct 2012 #19
tokenlib Oct 2012 #20

Response to tomm2thumbs (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 10:21 PM

1. Luxxotica makes garbage.

Maui Jim and Serengeti have resisted selling out to these proprietors of crap.

The tactics Luxxotica uses sounds like mafia tactics.

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Response to Dawson Leery (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 10:25 AM

17. Yeah. The 300$ Ray Bans I bought are crap.

One of the lenses actually cracked from stress of the frames. I'm going with Warby Parkers next time...

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Response to EnviroBat (Reply #17)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 02:55 PM

22. My mother bought a pair of Versace eyeglasses for $275.

The lenses fell out after 6 months.

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Response to tomm2thumbs (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 10:26 PM

2. I saw it.

Monopoly? Yes.

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Response to tomm2thumbs (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 10:33 PM

3. I pay $50 per pair at the Factory Eye Glass Outlet.

http://www.eyeglassoutlets.com/ncarolina/home.html

Screw $200 for a pair of glasses.

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Response to tomm2thumbs (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 10:39 PM

4. Damn. Thanks for posting this.

I missed 60 Minutes tonight.

Damn, this leaves me speechless.

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Response to tomm2thumbs (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 10:50 PM

5. That was eye opening

to say the least. I'm in the market for new glasses, myself. Off to Walmart I will go

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Response to marezdotes (Reply #5)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 10:55 PM

6. There's another thread on this with recs, but...

I've been using www.zennioptical.com for years and they have been great.

(Likely where Wal-Mart gets them from.)

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Response to marezdotes (Reply #5)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 02:24 PM

21. If you're trying to avoid monopolies, Walmart is the last place you should go, eh?

Or was the *sarcasm* tag merely implied?

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Response to tomm2thumbs (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 11:40 PM

7. It's not an "American company" if it isn't made in America by American workers.

This is like buying "Genuine Imported Tequila" made in Jersey....

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Response to tomm2thumbs (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 11:51 PM

8. I caught this, too

and was pretty horrified - this company IS a monopoly. Have to say, the entire show tonight was in the best tradition of what "60 Minutes" USED to be. Excellent!

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Response to tomm2thumbs (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 11:53 PM

9. I once worked for Luxotica...they shut the company down.

In the late 80's, early 90's, I was an art director in the home office of Women's Specialty Retailing Group. You might remember them...they owned many of the women's clothing chains in your local mall. I worked in the Sales, Promotion & Marketing Dept. handling mainly the Casual Corner and Caren Charles stores, but also Petite Sophistic and August Max. In all, WSRG had over 1,800 stores and more than 30,000 employees nationwide.

They also owned a men's clothing chain, and a little place called LensCrafters.

Just before I left to start my own design studio, Luxotica bought the entire company. They immediately announced plans to start shuttering stores. They offered rounds of severance and separation packages, with fewer and fewer benefits as the closings went on.

It turns out, they only wanted LensCrafters. Casual Corner, the biggest and best known division of WSRG was the last to go. But within a few years of the acquisition, they had closed all 1,800 clothing stores and laid off everybody except LensCrafters employees. The big new office complex WSRG had just built is now home to Brooks Brothers.

They destroyed a huge nationwide business and laid off thousands and thousands of employees, just to get LenCrafters...which totally sucks anyway. I haven't bought glasses there since I lost my 50% employee discount.

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Response to Atman (Reply #9)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:56 AM

10. I wonder why they didn't just buy Lenscrafters

or start up their own eye glasses business. They would have had to pay a lot for all those other stores just to shut them down. What am I missing?

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Response to arikara (Reply #10)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 07:58 AM

12. LensCrafters was already a big, established brand.

Lots of equity in the name, and lots of premium mall space. Plus, WSRG refused to break up its divisions. The economy wasn't great and a couple of the divisions were losing big money. The two guys that started the original Casual Corner in West Hartford still ran the place, and would only sell all or nothing. Their pride in the brand made it impossible for them to believe someone would shut it all down. They were very wrong.

On edit: to clarify, WSRG had started to close some of the underperforming stores before the sale went through. I think Luxotica was stalking the wounded prey.

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Response to tomm2thumbs (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 05:57 AM

11. Can't see it overseas... [PLEASE RE-UPLOAD VIDEO]...

YouTube is blocking the video over here in Japan.

If someone could download it and re-upload it on a different channel, we overseas types would be able to see it, too.

I read a summary on another site... this looks like it is must see stuff.

Might even be educational for the low information voter, I imagine.

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Response to 6502 (Reply #11)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 08:22 AM

13. you might try this link


http://www.cbs.com/primetime/60_minutes/video/?vs=Clips

that is their direct viewing page for 60 minutes -- or perhaps search for 'transcripts' so at least you might be able to read the contents of the show as it was spoken

Good luck - not sure that will help, but hopefully so

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Response to tomm2thumbs (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 08:32 AM

14. Blocked here in France as well. Any chance

of uploading and viewing it on another channel?

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Response to tomm2thumbs (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 09:07 AM

15. This is what happens when you stop enforcing the anti-trust laws.

Though American law does NOT apply in Italy, America does NOT have to allow this monopoly to sell in US markets. And America does NOT have to allow the corporation to buy up most of the eyeglass stores in America, handing an Italian corporation a monopoly in America.

Monopolies cause retail prices to increase NOT decrease.

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Response to tomm2thumbs (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 09:13 AM

16. It is momoplies;

That the EU FORBIDS, at least to my knowledge.

I worked at Allied Signal, now Honeywell, when GE tried to buy them. The EU court ruled against the merger and the deal fell through.

A negative ruling by the EU court meant the new company could now sell to any country participating in the EU, a market as large as the US!

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Response to tomm2thumbs (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:26 PM

18. Just wait'll Bain

or some private consortium OWNS this nation's education system. Hell, forget college - you won't be able to pay off your kids PRIMARY education!!!

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Response to tomm2thumbs (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 01:15 PM

19. Luxxotica = Borg ?...

We are the Luxxotica. We will add your money to our own. Resistance is futile.

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Response to tomm2thumbs (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 01:56 PM

20. This is disturbing if you want to support American workers...

Let's face it, most of us do not have vision coverage. Luxxotica is one thing-and supporting local optical firms and offices is another.
When eyeglasses here are priced in the hundreds of dollars--and you can go to one of the Chinese optical websites and get them well under $100--the choice is simple. Not everyone has the discount optical stores in their areas. If you just get a prescription and your pupil distance you can save a bundle. I suspect this trend is killing Optometrists finances too.

Firmoo and Zenni Optical and others are slowly making a dent. It sucks if they get the glasses wrong, it sucks if you need adjustments, but when you can get almost 10 pairs from overseas for the price of one at Lenscrafters?

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