I have been reading with interest the behind the scenes of your stores. I would like to hear any feedback from field Luxottica frame sales reps. We are an Optometric group and most of the sales reps that call on us are mum when it comes to speaking candidly of their company.
Thanks , Rob
I remember those Grand Metdays fondly....in hindsight they truly were the good old days (not that we didn't find things to bitch about).. but back then the franchise community represented one half of the company and we truly did have some clout. One time I was charged a late fee for some little B.S. thing so in protest I immediately
took all my lab business to an outside lab. The very next week my "lab Rep" (remember them) came flying through the door and said " What did we do to piss you off?" I told him and he apologized, credited me the late fee, and begged me to just talk to him next time before I did anything crazy like that again. Nowdays, do you think anyone would even notice..?
That is the difference between then and now. The modern day franchise community represents a minuscule,impotent
portion of Luxottica (albeit an iritating one )and had better tow the line,pay the money, and smile.
Being a corporate store, I'm not sure about this, but I believe there are certain frames in certain brands that are not being released to Pearle Franchise or corporate, they are Lenscrafters exclusives and the same is true of certain units that are unavailable for LC (albeit, there is far more reserved for LC than there is for Pearle). Lord knows they are keeping the best Sunglass Frames unavailable to me but can be found at SGH down the hall. That's my 2 corporate cents worth.
Please don't play dumb. Pearle franchise owners now get more discount than they ever got before the buyout and as stated almost everything is available now. ( In the begining they did pick and choose what they were going to stock at the distribution center, but I hear very few complaints now.
The goal was simple. How do you get more Lux product in franchise stores. Answer - Offer more discount. But that came with a price and the price was that they had to go directly through Pearle distribution and not through Luxottica wholesale.
If you think there is an issue get all the franchise owners together and tell them you don't want the additional discount, you would rather be serviced by the reps. ( p. s. good luck)
If working with Lux is so terrible - get out. Get out from under the off the top fees. Some have and seem to be doing fine, but remember you will give up lots.
Most of the franchise owners are doing great and are opening up second and third locations in my market.
Wow-Haven't heard howards name mentioned in years-brings back memories of the good old days before Peter (Schmidt?)the dentist and Bob whom they brought over from Burger King to run things. Its funny that way back then we used to complain to Pearle about distribution being a profit center
for the company and ripping us off on frames and contacts.
I remember sending John Piana 2 identical plastic frames, one from distribution and one from Value Eyewear. Dist charged us $17.50 for the frame and Value charged $4.50
for the exact same frame with the same markings, etc. He said that he would look into it.
The threads on this post are biggest line of B S I have ever seen by someone who is totally clueless as to what happened after the buyout and who is responsible for frame selection going to Pearle corporate and the franchise stores.
It was Pearle Services Group who demanded after the buyout that Luxottica wholesale not be allowed to continue to service franchise accounts. (It was probably to justify their continued existance after the merger)
Lux wholesale lost millions in sales when everything was required to be sold through PSG and not throught the sales reps.
PSG, not Luxottica, is the one who determines what frames they are going to stock and which ones they are not going to stock - not only for Luxottica products but for all other lines other than Luxottica.
If you have anyone to blame, take it out on Pearle PSG, not Luxottica wholesale who would love to have those accounts back.
My Pearle franchise had just place a large order with the Lux frame rep a few weeks ahead of the Lux takeover. Much to my(and the frame reps) surprise and consternation, the order was interrupted and never delivered. The reason: As a Pearle I was now a second class customer and not intitled to the first rate service available through the reps. I spent the next several weeks (no exaggeration)spelling out to the Pearle distribution center what frames I needed. I almost had to paint them a picture.
I just returned from the Vision Preview in Fort Lauderdale. Lux had a booth at the vendor show but the franchisees were told ahead of time to avoid the booth if at all possible and be very invisible if you did barge in to see the line.
"The reason: As a Pearle I was now a second class customer and not intitled to the first rate service available through the reps."
Again this is total bull. As a Pearle franchise you recieve discounts that are much much more than you ever recieved as a direct Luxottica account a point you seem to have overlooked.
Pearle franchise's demanded bigger discounts and they got them, but Lux was not going to give them huge discounts and still pay the reps commissions.
As a stockholder I am grateful for their sticking to their guns.
Luxottica frame reps have no relationship with the Lux owned stores at all, they only deal with independents. That includes the franchised Pearl stores.
I can tell you this that the Corporate stores work off of a matrix of product styles. They cannot order different styles or colors that customers request.
Private practice 3 O's can order any style and color of any line if they are open for the line. That is a huge advantage over the corporate owned stores.
When the LUX takeover of Pearle became effective we had their frame reps call on us for the first time. LUX put a stop to that and we haven't seen them since. There was a contraversy about our not getting discounts through the reps. Maybe thats why LUX is down to 13% representation in franchisees stores.