Luxottica Wholesale N.A. Invests in Independent Optical Sales Division to Focus on Brands

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NEW YORK—Luxottica Wholesale N.A. said it is investing in the evolution of its independent optical sales division, which accounts for the largest component of the company’s overall sales force. The independent optical sales division is made up of approximately 300 salespeople who serve ECPs throughout North America with Luxottica’s brands. "These changes will strengthen Luxottica’s consultative approach to ECPs by putting greater focus on brands and customer support," a company spokesperson told VMAIL, adding, "the evolution is designed to empower Luxottica’s talent and rally them together as part of one family. The primary change will be a greater focus on brands."

The sales force, led by Ludo Ladreyt, senior vice president of optical sales division, reporting to Fabrizio Uguzzoni, president of Luxottica Wholesale N.A., will be organized by brand first, instead of territory.

For independent ECPs, there will be four luxury divisions, three premium fashion divisions and Ray-Ban will continue to have its own dedicated sales team. Oakley and Costa will keep their already-dedicated sales forces, separate from this group. Each sales representative will manage one, some two, maximum three brands, the spokesperson said, "to foster expertise among the sales force, who will more and more serve as brand ambassadors and storytellers. Then within each brand, reps will be responsible for a territory. The division will add nine additional territories around us allowing us deeper brand penetration, unprecedented coverage of our customer support, and better dedicated support to our internal sales teams..

"In an effort to create a stronger sales force, bringing everyone together as a true Luxottica family with the same opportunities and support," the spokesperson said, "all of our independent contractors involved will take on new roles as employees. One hundred of the 300 sales reps in the independent optical team will be making thIs change. The other 200 were already employed."

The company said it will also add dozens of new sales support roles to the organization as a result. The additions include a new role of business development manager to support the sales team and customers as well as the Rewards program strategy; and a Ray-Ban “ROX manager” role focused on the growth of its Ray-Ban prescription lens business.

There will be four regional sales directors, reporting to Ladreyt, for East Coast, West Coast, Central and South. The changes, effective immediately, were outlined in detail for sales leaders last week. On-boarding and training plans have been rolled out.

Uguzzoni said, "In an optical market that is evolving and changing at lightning speed, we’re constantly looking at how we can offer more support for the independent eyecare professionals amidst increasing competition. We have definitely become much more consultative in recent years, but with our reimagined structure, we will be more intuitive, more responsive and focused on customer needs.”

He added, "Brands and consumers’ connection to brands remains a critical driver for industry growth and our portfolio puts us in a great position here. One of the changes we made—ensuring that our salespeople manage one, two or maximum three brands—is designed to seize the growing opportunity around brands. Our team will be comprised of true brand ambassadors who are not only uber-experts on Ray-Ban or Prada, but also experts on eyewear and what consumers love about it.”