Bryan Callahan
Oct 9, 2012 3:12 AM
I just found this story from Sunday's 60 minutes about how much sunglasses are marked up. My main point of interest was the talk of Luxottica's purchase of Oakley. The author says Oakley couldn't beat Lux so they had to sell. I always interpreted the sale as Jim getting more interested in Red and deciding to do something new?

Your thoughts?

Twenty Fifty
Oct 9, 2012 3:40 AM
I think that was just editing to make it appear that way; the reality is likely not what they wanted to suggest. They were combining facts from everything from the SGH "lockout" in the early 2000s to he "merger" in 2007. The events of the former were a lot more hostile than in the latter, but less hostility = less interesting story. I think the general opinion is JJ just wanted to move to Red rather than him thinking he was losing to Lux (though I'm sure Lux business practices factored a tiny bit into the decision). A $2.1B offer (which was at least a healthy 18% premium over their market value) didn't hurt, either.
Bryan Callahan
Oct 9, 2012 7:58 AM
Very true, but being a reporter myself I felt that that was skewing the facts to make a story more sensational. It was not good journalism.
Twenty Fifty
Oct 9, 2012 9:30 AM
Yeah, it wouldn't be the first time 60 Minutes is caught for sensationalistic journalism.

It does make me wonder if their classification of Lux as a monopoly is correct. Though they do hold a huge market share in the eyewear market, I've always held that the existence of companies like Safilo and Essilor prevents them from being a monopoly. Interesting stuff.
Jules Neefjes
Oct 9, 2012 1:06 PM
Yeah, and what to think of Rodenstock. Also a pretty major player here in Europe at least...
Twenty Fifty
Oct 12, 2012 2:26 AM
Got some more time to reply so going back to the question in the title, I don't think Lux beat Oakley. In the end both Lux and JJ benefited greatly from the tranasction. JJ is known for his creations and his commitment, but the reason Oakley thrived was because he was a shrewd business man. And showing his business savvy, he was prepping for acquisition well before it actually happened (see link). We should've seen it coming when Oakley bought Oliver Peoples (which was odd when it happened but makes complete sense in hindsight) and we at least should've gotten a hint when Oakley softened it's product line with Dartboard, New Zero, Monster Doggle, Gascan, Riddle, etc., but we couldn't see the forest for the trees.


In the end JJ got $1.3B to put into Red (the first Red One shipped pretty close to the merger agreement announcement, which probably isn't a small coincidence) and Lux got a now $1.3B brand that's currently going on its 7th consecutive year of double-digit growth, shows exceptional organic growth quarter-over-quarter, and has the Lux execs patting themselves on the back for making a purchase that gives them a bigger foothold into North America and the sports market.

Most seem to love the deal with the exception of hardcore Oakley collectors. Will it last? Who knows, but it looks good for now.
Trevor F
Oct 12, 2012 3:07 AM
I agree that the "merger" was more to business savvy than a take over, but again with the forest and the trees. something was stated in the interview that really rubbed me wrong....how long before Oakley is no longer really involved, just a name on the side that was sent by there marketing guys to be stamped on like in Tiffany, Channel or polo, based on the clothing line for the season. We are starting to see that now....with the made in china's and such. And the CEO or owner of Lux or whatever is a Pompous @$$ !!! What made oakley what it is ....er...was. It was a choice...for the few, the proud, the unique. A group of people who didn't follow the status quo. I understand branching out and business sense, but dont lose your foundation, what makes you...well....you. Oakley was a company that created solutions to make things bigger, better, faster. now they push towards the lemmings!!! just like the music resampling, movie remaking, clothing regurgitating industries, Oakley has fallen victim to LUX and is, and has been doing this for a bit now. Wheres the just cuz? the holy shits? the no effin ways? what, the C-six....meh, the FMJ, close but no ringer, The Pit Boss, Unique but no home run. I love my Oakley, and I AM still one of the biggest fans, but i feel that the bit of Anarchy that roamed in the halls that we Co-Pilots heard mentioned has been jailed and locked away by corporate political policy (LUX). I hope it breaks free. Until then I will hold dearly to the Pre-2006/2007 oakley that I love and the minor hints of its radical influence that was able to creep out here and there. If I had one wish, It would be that an unique individual would win some lottery, get willed a fortune or hell rob a big ass bank and buy Oakley from Lux, or in the words of the Late Rage Against the Machine, "TAKE THE POWER BACK!!!"
Oct 12, 2012 5:48 AM
It's actually this way:

LUX couldn't beat OAKLEY.
So they bought 'em.
Twenty Fifty
Oct 12, 2012 5:14 PM
The Juggernaut returns!
Oct 12, 2012 7:13 PM
Dann Thombs
Jan 8, 2018 5:54 PM
Didn't want to make a new thread, but thought it was funny to share this 6 month response time to send me the phone number which I originally called in order for them to tell me to fill out the online warranty.


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