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Can RayBan pierce deeper into the high-end segment?

05-October-2004
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Can RayBan pierce deeper into the high-end segment?

RayBan Sun Optics India Ltd—part of the $3-billion Luxottica Group of Milan—is now aggressively targeting the upper-end sunglasses market: with products priced between Rs 2,000 and Rs 20,000. It wants to position RayBan Sun Optics as a premium designer sunglasses company, RayBan Sun Optics India Ltd managing director Harsh Chopra told FE.

On the company’s new plans, said Mr Chopra: “We have recently started marketing 10 new brands through 1,000 retail outlets across the country. The brands include entry-level ‘Killer Loop’ priced between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,500 positioned as a street brand for young people with an active lifestyle, ‘Vogue’ priced between Rs 4,000 and Rs 5,000, ‘Versace’ priced between Rs 6,000 and Rs 9,000, ‘Ferragamo’ priced at

Rs 10,000 and top-end ‘Bulgari’ priced between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000.”

Apart from this, Luxottica has recently entered into a global licensing agreement for marketing ‘Brada’, ‘Miumiu’ and ‘Donna Karan’ sunglasses and these brands may be promoted in India too.

According to Mr Chopra, the move is in sync with the emerging trend in international markets where a major trend of multiple ownership has emerged in the optical market. Upper middle-class customers have multiple sunglasses in their wardrobe. “By marketing 10 new brands through 1,000 outlets, we aim to meet the evolving needs of customers,” he added.

RayBan sunglasses were launched in India in 1992. The Luxottica Group of Milan took over RayBan Optics in October 2000.

Luxottica is the biggest optical retailer in North America with 2,500 optical superstores across two chains, Sunglass Hut and Lens Crafters.

According to Mr Chopra: “We refresh our sunglasses collection twice a year. Besides, we have also installed a high-end IBM computer and uplinked its order entry system in Italy. This has improved the range of models on offer and the speed of delivery.”

There has been an upgradation in retail ambience in the last two years. Optical chains such as Lawrence and Mayo, GKB and Bonton among others have all opened new stores in priced locations to meet this growing designer eyewear demand.

However, RayBan Sun Optics is not planning to open any exclusive RayBan outlet. In such a scenario, it remains to be seen whether RayBan Sun Optics’ new strategy will work for the company.

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