Why are glasses so expensive? Luxottica.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Couture
60 Minutes segment about Luxottica:
Luxottica is a $20 billion company that makes and sells glasses.
500 million people wear its products; 65 million pairs were sold last year.
It owns Ray Bans and Oakley. It makes glasses for other brands it does not own, including Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Prada, Burbury, Prada, Tiffany, and many more.
It owns glasses stores Lenscrafters, Pearle Vision, Oliver Peoples, Sunglass Hut and others.
It owns Eyemed, the nation's most popular vision insurance company.
Business Insider adds:
Because it owns so much of the eyewear industry – from supply chain to distribution – Luxottica is able to charge very high prices for the glasses it sells. The average frame plus lenses costs $300 at Lenscrafters. That's about 20X more that it costs to make them. Some people think this is an unfair ripoff.
Some people believe that Luxottica is a monopoly that cannot be defeated. One company that does not feel this way is New York-based startup Warby Parker, which is on a never-say-die mission to destroy Luxottica.
More at The Muse: http://www.themuse.com/companies/warby/people/mara
Warby Parker = hipster nightmare.... hell they even have a top level section for a friggin monocle.