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MILAN, Italy, Nov. 4 — Luxottica Group S.p.A. (NYSE: LUX; MTA: LUX), a global leader in the design, manufacturing and distribution of premium fashion and luxury eyewear, today announced that it is set to enter the high-potential Indian retail market with the opening of over 100 Sunglass Hut stores at select high-end malls and other premium retail locations across India. Luxottica will open the stores through a landmark franchising agreement with DLF Group, the leading real estate developer based in New Delhi.
Sunglass Hut, one of Luxottica’s leading retail brands, is the only truly global premium eyewear chain fully dedicated to the sun segment. The first India-based store will open in November of this year.
Andrea Guerra, chief executive officer of Luxottica Group, commented: “This is an especially important development for our Group and a turning point for our business in India. On the one hand, it allows us to become from day one a key player in one of the most promising retail markets for premium and luxury brands working side-by-side with the leading real estate developer in the market. At the same time, it is an opportunity to further strengthen the positioning of our key brands, with an expected benefit for our entire business in that market.”
Kelvin Coyle, Chief Executive Officer of DLF Retail Brands Private Limited commented: “For a few years now, DLF has been involved in developing important projects for the establishment of big brands in India, a market that appreciates high quality products. We are delighted to partner with Luxottica in this important retail initiative for India. Our strategic intent is to partner with brands that are leaders in their categories and Sunglass Hut certainly fits this criteria.”
Sunglass Hut is the only truly global specialty sun retail chain in the world. With a total of over 2,000 stores, it operates in key markets worldwide with stores in: North and Central America, Australasia, China (including Hong Kong), the Middle East and South Africa, Southeast Asia (Singapore and Thailand) and the UK.
Mr. Guerra concluded: “We strongly believe that Sunglass Hut is one of the key opportunities for growth for our Group in mature and emerging markets alike. Thanks to its flexible business model and strong single global brand identity, we have been able to open in key markets on all five continents. We continue to see opportunities for further expansion and strengthening of Sunglass Hut’s footprint.”
“It is our intention to open two Sunglass Huts immediately in New Delhi with a view to develop the chain to 100 stores across the country,” said Mr. Coyle.
Most recently, Sunglass Hut opened the first two of its 15 expected new locations in Thailand. This year, new stores also opened in the highly strategic Hong Kong market as well as in the Middle East. Luxottica also announced that it will convert to Sunglass Hut all 71 sun stores it already owns in South Africa, the home of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
About Luxottica Group S.p.A.
Luxottica Group is a global leader in eyewear, with over 6,200 optical and sun retail stores in North America, Asia-Pacific, China, South Africa and Europe and a strong brand portfolio that includes our key house brand, Ray-Ban, the best selling sun and prescription eyewear brand in the world, as well as, among others, license brands Bvlgari, Burberry, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tiffany and Versace, and other key house brands Oakley, Oliver Peoples, Vogue, Persol, Arnette and REVO. In addition to a global wholesale network that touches over 130 countries, the Group manages leading retail brands such as LensCrafters, Pearle Vision and Sunglass Icon in North America, OPSM and Laubman & Pank in Asia-Pacific, and Sunglass Hut globally. The Group’s products are designed and manufactured in six Italy-based high-quality manufacturing plants, in the only two China-based plants wholly-owned by a premium eyewear manufacturer, and in manufacturing facilities in the United States acquired as part of the Oakley acquisition. For fiscal year 2007, Luxottica Group (NYSE: LUX; MTA: LUX) posted consolidated net sales of 5 billion. Additional information on the Group is available at www.luxottica.com.
About DLF Retail Brands Private Limited
DLF Retail Brands Private Limited is a newly formed company of the DLF Group whose strategic intent is to develop successful partnerships with international brands considered “Best in their Category.” The DLF Group is the largest real estate company in India. The group has over 224 million sq. ft. of existing development and 755 million sq. ft. of planned projects. DLF is committed to quality, trust and customer sensitivity, and deliver on promises with agility, financial prudence and in tune with the highest global standards. The company has also entered into several strategic alliances with global industry leaders.
About Sunglass Hut
Sunglass Hut is the largest sunglass specialty retailer in the world with a total of over 2000 locations worldwide. Sunglass Hut is wholly owned by Luxottica Group. Additional information is available at www.sunglasshut.com