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MILAN and MELBOURNE, Australia, July 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Luxottica Group S.p.A. (MTA: LUX; NYSE: LUX), a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of fashion, luxury and sports eyewear, today introduced shoppers to the Future of Retailing with the launch of a world-first global retail concept store unveiled in Australia's fashion capital, Melbourne. Today's opening of the first OPSM eye hub store marks the debut of a retail outlet where every customer dictates and personalizes their own shopping experience.
Designed by international award-winning architects E2, also the designers of London's landmark Millennium Dome, the revolutionary store concept has been designed to place the customer at the centre of the store experience.
Luxottica Group's CEO Andrea Guerra said the company's long-term goal is for this concept to be adapted globally. There are plans for more stores in Australia to debut in the next two to three years, and additional stores could in the future be opened in key markets such as China, the UK and the United States.
"We are confident that our first OPSM eye hub will be a huge success and lead to future openings in worldwide markets," said Mr. Guerra. "With the features the new store concept has to offer consumers, quite simply it sets new standards for international retailing. Naturally, we also believe this will be the next step in eyewear retailing in particular and look forward to bringing this concept to consumers around the world."
With a simulator room for testing glasses and sunglasses for glare and wind resistance, a product vault featuring stunning and exclusive designer glasses visible from every area of the store, touch-screen interactive mirrors that allow people to play back their new look, a secure play place where parents can leave their kids while they shop, the concept store reflects the next generation in experiential shopping.
Luxottica conducted extensive customer research and spent two years planning and designing the retail experience so that it feels highly personal and welcoming for customers from a wide range of demographics. Through research Luxottica solicited not only what customers want in a retail experience, but what they do not want, which is reflected in the final design and layout. The OPSM eye hub concept store reflects Luxottica's continuous commitment to innovation and high technical and stylistic quality to ensure customer well-being and satisfaction.
Chris Beer, CEO, Luxottica, Australasia, South Africa & Greater China, added: "Typically retailers tell the customer what's going to happen when they walk in the store. This first-of-its-kind concept relies on the customers dictating their own shopping experience, including telling a concierge meeting them at the door how they want to shop and what they want to spend time on. The best thing about this store is that it will be a unique experience for each customer."
"The OPSM eye hub concept store raises the bar for all retailers to deliver exactly what customers want through an immersive experience," said Mr. Beer.
International retail futurist Ian Pearson, who invented text messaging while working as British Telecom's full-time futurist until 2008, believes there will be a significant shift in how retailers engage with customers to compel them to physically visit a store. With customers placing increasing value on their time, stores must invest reciprocal time preparing for and serving the customer – what Pearson calls the "care economy."
"What I saw today at OPSM eye hub is a first-of-its-kind retail concept that focuses on five-star service, and a very enjoyable customer experience," he said.
Technology is at the forefront of the eye hub with touch screen interactive mirrors that allow people to playback their new look and see what they look like with full clarity of vision.
Sports enthusiasts and pro-athletes alike will put their eyewear to the test in the Oakley Pressure Chamber and REVO Elements Room, complete with a custom made wind tunnel and variable light settings.
Real life sporting hazards and environments, like glare and wind, will be simulated for rigorous on-the-spot testing of frames. As a result, for the first time fitness fiends can check that their sunglasses or prescription frames are up to any given sports task before purchasing. The wind tunnel is even equipped with an exercise bike for cyclists as well as a treadmill.
Snapshot of the store
1,500 square meters
The store's floor plan, which is in the shape of an eye, invites customers to discover the store's offering
The environment and service elements have been defined by what customers want to experience from the moment they enter the store to when they leave
A concierge meets customers at the door
Kids area – sectioned off and safe to leave
Product stylists help match the best frames for each customer
Sports simulation rooms for testing wind and glare allow 'road testing' glasses before buying them
Product vault in centre of store – VIP exclusive designs available.
Largest selection of designer frames
Largest range of product in the Southern Hemisphere - over 2,000 optical and sunglass designs
Four exclusive pairs of diamond encrusted glasses
Interactive mirrors with playback video - customers can see how they look in the latest style of frames
Living "green wall"
Prices and designs to suit all customers – from luxury brand designs to great quality frames at affordable prices
About Luxottica Group S.p.A.
Luxottica Group is a leader in premium fashion, luxury and sports eyewear, with over 6,300 optical and sun retail stores in North America, Asia-Pacific, China, South Africa and Europe and a strong and well-balanced brand portfolio. Luxottica's key house brands include Ray-Ban, the best known sun eyewear brand in the world, Oakley, Vogue, Persol, Oliver Peoples, Arnette and REVO, while license brands include Bvlgari, Burberry, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tiffany and Versace. In addition to a global wholesale network covering 130 countries, the Group manages leading retail brands such as LensCrafters and Pearle Vision in North America, OPSM and Laubman & Pank in Australasia, LensCrafters in Greater China and Sunglass Hut globally. The Group's products are designed and manufactured in six Italy-based manufacturing plants, two wholly-owned plants in China and a sports sunglass production facility in the U.S. In 2009, Luxottica Group posted consolidated net sales of Euro 5.1 billion. Additional information about the Group is available at www.luxottica.com.
Luxottica has a strong presence in the Asia Pacific region with more than 1,350 eyewear retail stores acrossAustralia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Greater China, Singapore and South Africa. In Australia, Luxottica is the leading eyecare and eyewear company with 835 stores across the OPSM, Laubman & Pank, Budget Eyewear, Sunglass Hut and Bright Eyes brands, and the market leader in New Zealand, with 83 OPSM and Sunglass Hut stores.