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Sunglass Hut or Sunglasses Factory?

“With my sunglasses on, I’m Jack Nicholson. Without them, I’m fat and 60.– Jack Nicholson

Perception is in the eye of the beholder….

“Sunglasses for me can make or break an outfit. How many times have you seen a celebrity wearing a drab outfit saved by a fabulous pair of sunglasses and a killer handbag? The value of sunglasses should never be underestimated and relegated to being just an accessory! Oh and did I mention they can also protect you eyes!

In preparing my summer wardrobe this year I pulled out all my sunglasses to see which ones needed to retire and if there was a gap in my looks.  I counted 12 pairs! Is this normal? How many sunnies do you own? It sadly made me think about how much would I actually spend on sunglasses in my lifetime? I would buy probably 2 pairs a year, as they are nowhere near as expensive in Europe as they are back in Australia. Recent research in the UK suggests that an “average British female spends over £2,200 on sunglasses in a lifetime, owning as many as 42 pairs of shades“.

As customers we wear sunglasses for protection, as a fashion statement or maybe even both? In terms of protection what’s the minimum you can spend to get good protection in sunglasses these days?  – Olya Bell

So is this what we’re really paying for?

Experts believe that “three hundred-dollar sunglasses don’t do anything better than $100 sunglasses, except maybe look better and have a brand name associated with them” says Dr. Jay Duker, chair of ophthalmology at Tufts Medical Center.”A significant chunk of what you pay for isn’t the quality of the lenses, it’s the brand,” adds Dr. Reza Dana, director of the cornea and refractive surgery service at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. He notes that making lenses that offer protection against harmful ultra-violet rays “isn’t very expensive technology.” – The Wall Street Journal online, July 2010

‘We both worked in the ski industry for many years. At the time… I’m pretty sure that goggles and sunglasses were actually only made out of four factories globally. We were often asked by customers what’s the difference between an expensive sunglass/goggles and a budget option… when curved lenses came along we finally had an answer to their question. Curved lenses were more optically correct and provided greater clarity (which can be pretty important on the slopes). You can now buy shades with this technology in them at the gas station…so I’m not entirely sure how you would answer that question today…but who am I kidding I buy into the hype just as much as anyone!” – Hannah Brooks.

Will your enjoyment of buying or wearing your glasses be diminished knowing that you are probably paying more for the ‘branding’ than the actual sunglasses? Alternatively, will you just respect them as an important accessory and be like Jack knowing that you are not your best without them?

These days much of the differentiation comes from branding since most sunglasses are manufactured by one company Luxottica. If you haven’t heard of them before they’re  an Italian “$6.6 billion eyewear company” that manufactures more than 20 million pairs of sunglasses a year and owns retail outlets like Sunglass Hut and LensCrafters. Below is s list of all the sunglasses labels they own and also a manufacture. You most likely own a pair of the sunglasses made by them. So much for competition!

2 Comments Post a comment
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    April 23, 2012

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