Having once had the pleasure (Not really a
pleasure but that's the general business of opticianry,
not LC in particular) of working for Lenscrafters, I
can tell you a couple of reasons why they're losing
money: 1.) The optical business caters to the consuming
public's whims to a ridiculous extent. At LC's the
customer is no longer king but rather some sort of
omnipotent god. I used to go crazy as people who bought
sunglasses (often Armanis)at Nordsrom's would come in to
have them adjusted for FREE! Paying customers often
times would be waiting while one of the opticians
adjusted the nosepads and temples (does take a certain
level of skill believe it or not, that Nordstroms
didn't have to pay for) and then even cleaned the lenses
for the freeloaders. I used to tell the manager how
ridiculous these freebies were, yet, we would be tacitly
compelled to accomodate. 2.) In the optical business which
deals in something as objective as eysight, you cannot
have "Nordsrom-like" customer service policies and
expect to keep the doors open. A customer could come in,
pick out frames, go home to show spouse, and decide
they didn't like them and Lenscrafters will remake
them at NO CHARGE! To what extent do you think that
that's exploited? Another thing, when I worked at LC's
they had a sign placed at the bottom of the escalator
in the mall that said "Come on in for Free
Adjustments". Free, free, free, yet LC's employees make a fair
wage for the industry (which isn't great but isn't
minimum wage). There's no other retail business that I
know of that gives away so much to the non-paying
public. It's like charity to the undeserving. They pay
skilled people to do charity work, that's the problem.
Lencrafters should charge for adjustments, repairs, and
cleanings performed on frames purchased elsewhere. Charge
the person a couple of bucks and give them a coupon
for a few dollars off on their purchase thereby
making it more likely to get some compensation down the
line. Anything but cut down on the freebies.
I'm not sure where you are from, but you are
correct about underpaid opticians, at least in most
states. An optician can do well in some of the states
where additional licensing is required. Most states
just require the ABO, which quite frankly is pretty
darn easy to pass. States such as Hawaii, Nevada,
Washington, to name a few require state licenses also, which
limits the number of opticians out there. My buddy in
Hawaii has his own little shop, does glasses and
contacts, and does quit nicely.
With regards to Lux.
Bad earnings, probable bad earnings in the 4th
quarter. Don't understand what happened on Friday to make
this stock jump almost 20%.
I would not get carried away with this upside,
the stock has been
there before. Do not expect any
major rise from here, I would not be surprised to see
$9 again this week. I've bought & sold
several times this year, it has become one of my
what's good is that I've always made money. Although I
have left good money on the table by selling my
shares just one day before it took off, I
take it easy and watch
for my next opportunity to
jump in. You'll get your chance too.
great people in this forum, very knowledgeable
the business, they have been a great
Thanks for the report. Your information regarding
Eye-Med is correct. I know for a fact that they will be
paying better rates than any other managed care plan.
They will also be permitting better add on charges
that will encourage the three O's to sign on. Eye-Med
will not be a profit center for Lux. They're counting
on making money by selling more frames and that will
give them a stronger presence in each optical retail
outlet that signs up, which will also produce more sales
to non Eye-Med recipients. That will definitely
bring Lux back to having, unquestionably, the biggest
market share without even counting
I had no idea that the stock would shoot up that
high so soon and had an open sell order at $11.00. So
right now I'm sitting on nothing at this point as well.
Here is a message from an E-mail service that I
(It is probably related to that news
flash on Reuters that they will be charging $1 for
adjustments and lens cleanings).
Sales Up More Than 10 percent in Third
With its retail sales up, Luxottica reports a rise in
companywide sales, but
a dip in net income.
Italy - Luxottica Group S.p.A. (NYSE:LUX) reported
sales at its
LensCrafters chain were up by 10.2
percent during third-quarter 1998 over
the same period
last year. Comp-store sales for the quarter rose by
percent. For the first nine months of the year, sales at
10.3 percent to $846.7 million over the
same period last year.
Parent company Luxottica
reports that its net sales rose by 6.9 percent in
third quarter to $419.1 million from $392.2 million in
1997. Net income
during the third quarter was down
by 1.9 percent to $32.9 million from
million during the same period in 1997.
For the first
nine months of the year, Luxottica's sales rose by 6.4
to 1.3 billion from $1.2 billion in 1997. Net income
during the first nine
months rose by 2.6 percent to
$113.5 million to $110.6 during the first nine
of 1997. (END OF STORY)
Here is more
information that I have received, but cannot verify its'
factuality, yet (But, it comes from a reliable source).
Lenscrafters is planning to launch a 3rd party insurance plan
that will be well-received by the 3 O's because it
will pay far better than most of the present plans
that we all accept. Their plan, as I have been told,
is to begin in Philadelphia and Chicago areas at
first, then, if succesful, Nationwide. My only regret is
that I was told of all this about 10 days ago when the
stock was at 8 3/4, but I was my usual stubborn self
and put my order in at 8 1/2 GTC, so here I sit with
nothing but my dick in my hands.
......I can only hope that thats not your nic
name at the optical shop.
How did you know I
work at lescrafters ? I actually used to sell womens
shoes for US Shoe next thing I know, I'm grinding lens
and adjusting nosepads. This has got to stop. My
patient's glasses are so bad they can't tell a Nordstrom
sign from a lencraftrs sign !
PS on a serious
note any news ala pro lux question ?
My friend has an old grandma who's
nearing the end of her days on earth. Lately she hasn't
concentrated too much on hygiene. The nosepads of her glasses
have taken on that nice gooey greenish-gray mess that
you love so well and she hasn't washed behind her
ears since the days of Eisenhower. Since you're such
sport and are offering free-adjustments, please let me
know at which Lenscrackers you're working so that I
may send her in to see you. Well, maybe not to see
you as this is improbable since she got her glasses
at one of your locations, but to have you work your
magic on her temples and nosepads. Better fire-up that
ultrasonic, you're going to need it. Adieu.
started this string by giving an honest "opinion" as to
one reason why Luxottica's earnings were less than
stellar. In return I was called all sorts of names. Let's
all grow up here together and start concentrating on
what this board is all about. Information, not
defamation. However, if the name calling continues, my poison
pen will prove far more powerful than all of yours
I always thought that I had a good insight on
this company, but I find myself puzzled. Almost a
million shares traded yesterday, I don't remember the
stock trading in that volume ever.
One thing I found
out is that Lux is calling their accounts asking to
update their information. The only time Lux did that in
the past was the month they bought US Shoe. They may
be doing it to announce their managed care
Any one read or heard any anything about Lux?? Only
truthful statements please.