Responding To A New Reality: Luxottica x Essilor


As we all know, the viral news of the day-week was the Essilor and Luxottica merger-buy-out. I don’t really think it came as a shock to most of us, as they both have been supporting each other for years. With Luxottica’s retail stores and Essilor online sales and lenses, it makes sense for them. Like any other ‘disruption’ it can serve as an opportunity for eye care professionals:

Mike Karlsrud of Karlsrud Company had a list of things that eyecare professionals can do NOW and over the next four years as Essilor-Luxilor- start assimilating their merger.

1.) Be niche-aimed. Never, ever be all things to all people. 

2.) Never attack them head-on. Instead steal their lukewarm customers.

3.) Be DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT in your market area.

4.) Compete on value, experience and intimacy, not price.

5.) Create an emotional bond with clients and vendors. (LOVE the one your with.)

6.) Get in there and have hands-on, emotional leadership. (Passion)

7.) Be a community star! Sell local, be local, own it.

8.) Create an incredible experience from the first call to the follow-up.

9.) Be design driven. Do everything by design. (I wrote a book entitled Selling by Design based on this concept.) Good design of processes, experiences and products will out perform mass retailers.

10.) Be a kick-butt employer of choice. Be cool, hip and a place where others want to be. This translates to patients wanting to be there too!

11.) Use the information you have to create intimacy. Patients should NOT be a yearly visitor to your office. Create a relationship.

12.) Use the power of social media to build a fan base of TESTIMONIALS. “Like’s” on FB is shit. Get people to say WHY they like you.

13.) Be innovative! Re-imagine the office experience and create one that someone would actually want to gleefully participate in.

14.) Get your brand off the wall and in the streets. Yes, market. There is too much competition for you to sit there with old idea that “If I build it they will come.” Guess who just built the largest optical company on the planet? Your patient is their patient, so get ready to defend what you have and play offense to keep even or grow.

15.) Focus on WOMEN. Women control 80% of the spending dollars in optical and often our shops look like…. well, shit. Build a retail environment that someone actually wants to shop in and spend money to support.

16.) Finally, INSIST on excellence. One patient, one experience, one day at a time, insist and PRACTICE excellence. Most offices I have been in are complacent. They “apply” the office process to the patient, they do not “invite” the patient to be part of the process. Review everything and be excellent in execution.

The merger between these two giants will not be felt on main street for a while. Take this time and sharpen your saw, reinvent yourself towards excellence, and if you think you are already there, you’re believing your own BS and you will be passed up shortly. We should ALWAYS be in pursuit of excellence.

Don’t wait to be great.

Hope this helps someone out there…

Claire Goldsmith MidPage


  1. You give very good advice to your members, but as a consumer I have a question for you? What does this merger mean to me? Does this mean that the frames you sell will be more expensive for me to buy? What about lenses? Why are they so expensive?

  2. Henry, First, we do not buy or sell any products. We write about them on both of our blogs . That said, the merger will not affect any prices from us.
    The merger can mean various things to different people-consumers. It depends on what you are looking for when shopping in general. are you are a proponent of supporting independent and local eyeglass stores and products? Are you looking for best prices online? Are you looking for designer eyewear? Do you have stock in either one of the companies? Do you want to have unbiased products (frame and lenses) shown to you? No one can predict if the price will go up or down, but most likely not too much is going to happen price wise over the next several years.
    As to the price of frame and lenses.. Why does one pay $80,000+ for a Tesla and $10, 000 for a Hyundai? Why does one pay $150 for a pair of sneakers or $30? Quality, craftmanship, image, name, production, materials, overhead, where it is made, all have a play in the price of any product be it eyewear, lenses, shoes, belts, bedding, music, and more.

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