How badly are we being ripped off on eyewear? Former industry execs tell all

LA Times:

…consumer prices for frames and lenses are so astronomically high, with markups often approaching 1,000%.

if you wear designer glasses, there’s a very good chance you’re wearing Luxottica frames.

The company’s owned and licensed brands include Armani, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, Persol, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ray-Ban, Tiffany, Valentino, Vogue and Versace.

Along with LensCrafters, Luxottica also runs Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Sunglass Hut and Target Optical, as well as the insurer EyeMed Vision Care.

The monopoly EssilorLuxottica holds on the eyewear industry is obscene. In our small town, we’ve only got two places we can buy prescription glasses or sunglasses. Both carry the same product and both charge about the same prices and those prices are often hundreds of dollars. If you’re poor and/or don’t have a health care plan that covers you, you simply can’t afford to wear glasses. Even if you do have a plan, glasses are still going to cost a minimum of $400 that someone has to pay.