November 18 2014  |  Industry News

Luxottica on point with new category research

By Hibah Noor

Luxottica’s highly successful Oakley activation at Naha Airport, Okinawa  HKIA was the location for the group’s first interactive digital game promotion, in partnership with DFS

Leading premium fashion, luxury and sports eyewear producer and distributor, Luxottica, is taking consumer research to heart in the sunglasses category with plans to turn global trends into sales opportunities across the region.

One such trend is customization. Says Francis Gros, the group’s Head of Global Channels: “This is a trend that is gaining momentum. Customers want to be able to create a product that is unique to them and this is something that we’ve been working on with Ray-Ban in particular.”

Gros also highlights the fact that consumers are becoming more knowledgeable about eyewear and this is driving new interest in product technology. “They are interested in polarised and hydrophobic lenses, lightweight and cutting-edge materials. The results of our R&D efforts – like LiteForce for example – are clearly driving this trend,” he said.

The results of the latest Generation research paint an exciting picture for the future growth of the sunglasses market as part of Fashion & Accessories category growth. With US$3 out of every US$100 spent on sunglasses, Luxottica has an ambitious vision for the future.

“Our goal remains to position travel retail as the expert channel for sunglasses, as the ‘go-to’ shopping channel for discerning, affluent consumers,” said Gros.

Luxottica is supporting this through significant investment into interactive promotional activations, a strategy, says Gros, in which sunglasses has been playing catch-up until recently.

“We’ve had highly successful activations with Oakley at Okinawa, where we featured an interactive cycling competition, and our first interactive digital game promotion from Ray-Ban and Oakley with DFS at Hong Kong International Airport,” he clarified.

The Generation research included an in-depth analysis of customer engagement and conversion issues, and Luxottica is looking at ways to capitalise on this information. Says Gros: “Customers expect to see a broader and more diverse range in travel retail. Increased ranges require greater space, and this is always the big challenge for any category looking to grow.

“Thankfully, the figures show the incredible growth trajectory of sunglasses in travel retail, which has been strongly linked to increased space and increased in-store investment and innovation.”

The research also flagged the importance of multi-formatting, which is a strategy Luxottica has spearheaded in travel retail. “Sunglasses delivers very strong space productivity, which makes it very appealing to retailers looking to differentiate their offering,” he said.

Recent research conducted by m1nd-set revealed that visitors who visit three types of sunglasses offerings at an airport are much more likely to make a purchase than those visiting just one store.

“In travel retail, locations where sunglasses are in main duty free shops, fashion boutiques, multi-brand fashion stores, standalone specialty sunglasses stores and potentially even pop-up shops, customers have more touch points with the category and are more likely to make a purchase,” said Gros.

 

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