Listen: Eyewear Giants to Merge, Grow Even More Mammoth
"<music> ah from wondering i'm david brown and this is business awards daily on this thursday august state is no secret there when you buy eyeglasses. You often wind up feeling like you've been raked over the coals. Prices have been climbing for decades and even vision insurance doesn't help much eagle-eyed listeners see what i did. There may remember seeing exposes about the monopoly in the eye wear industry. Well today the heart of that monopolies accompany. You may never have heard of much less able to pronounce that me give it a try. S allure luxottica yes there we go esa. Laurel exotica is the world's largest eyewear company owner of pearle the vision lenscrafters sunglass hut and rayban sunglasses among many others it also owns. I met one of the country's biggest vision insurers. The company was created created in two thousand seventeen by the fifty three billion dollar merger of esa lor a french company specializing in lenses with lozada an italian specialist in frames. The the merged company now owns so many pieces of the eyewear business from insurance to designer frame manufacturers to optical chains that it can charge markups of as much his one thousand percent according to the l._a. Times c._n._b._c. reports that can cost as little as four dollars to make frames. It's not unusual for a pair era prescription glasses to cost as much as five hundred dollars in large part because of the power. This company has in the industry well esa. Laurel exotica is about to get even bigger it soon to pay about eight billion dollars to acquire a netherlands based company called grand vision grand vision owns seven thousand stores under many names in forty countries west coast listeners. Maybe familiar with its four is retail chain most of grand visions stores though are in europe a market esera exotica wants to beef up the european union. We'll have to see its way clearly to approving the big merger. Regulators concerned -cerned about competition took a long time to approve s laurel exotic as initial tie up not to be dominated by the mammoth company. Another huge merger is in the works. One london won't make buying glasses or contact lenses any more affordable alas v._s. P america's largest vision insurer plans to acquire the eyewear chain vision works which operates more than seven hundred stores in forty states v._s. P already controls a number of designer eyewear makers including in calvin klein karl lagerfeld and nike who even knew nike made glasses while the proposed e._s._p. Vision works merger would create an eyewear a giant that would rival s allure lozada with enormous conglomerates dominating the market for our eyeballs. The budget minded may try to avoid high prices says by buying glasses online even if there's growth in online purchases though it won't take much of a bite out of these two giants despite wherby parker's high profile profile online eyewear is still a rather small market hard for many of us to <hes> see ourselves choosing glasses digital from wondering this is business words daily. Hey listen if you like our show. Share it with a friend or colleague. You can do that right for most podcast cast apps on your phone. It does thanks a bunch. I'm david brown. We'll see you tomorrow."