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Tiffany Montgomery
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Oakley retail and wholesale business thriving

By Tiffany Montgomery
October 29, 2008 8:15 AM

We may have another Buckle on our hands. Oakley retail comps at its "O" stores rose 16.4 percent in the third quarter at a time when business deteriorated for so many others.

Total Oakley sales rose 16 percent. US revenue grew in the "significant" double digits. Internationally, revenue grew in the mid-single digits. Strong international regions included Australia, Brazil, Canada and Japan. In Europe, results are improving and the integration there with Luxottica is complete.

Wholesale: Sales were strong across all channels with special strength in military/law enforcement, e-commerce, lifestyle, department stores and Lens Crafter.

Oakley plans to adjust to the current economic climate by driving sales of:

- Premium products such as polarized, customized eyewear and technical outerwear.
- Equipment - goggles, technical outerwear, and military
- Special editions and collaborations to drive retailer traffic
- Leverage e-commerce platform
- Shift marketing spend as close to retailers and consumers as possible.
- Prudent expense management

Oakley and Luxottica are also sharing resources on many things. Oakley is manufacturing REVO glasses and blank lenses in Foothill Ranch and is sharing its expertise with Luxottica as Luxottica prepares to launch an e-commerce site for Sunglass Hut. Luxottica is helping Oliver People's retool.

Interesting Luxottica trends

- The company said September was the worst month at retail in North America in 12 months.

- Business in the fourth quarter remains soft.

- Net sales rose 5.3 percent in the third quarter

- Earnings per share fell 7.2 percent (in Euros)

- In wholesale regions, the company said Continental Europe is "keeping up," Mediterranean Europe improved in July and August and slowed in September. The U.S. is holding up but some slowdown. Sales in Japan were negative while emerging markets showed solid growth.

- Luxottica's fashion and premium brands are "resilient," but luxury is weak.

- Key accounts are keeping up. Travel retail and department stores are doing well. Big and medium independents are not bad and destocking. Small independents are going down and destocking.

 


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