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Luxottica Group has signed an agreement with Macy’s Inc. for its Sunglass Hut unit to serve as the sole operator of the retailer’s in-store sunglass departments. Macy’s will be the only U.S. department store to house Sunglass Hut shops.
Beginning this spring, Macy’s will open an additional 430 Sunglass Hut departments, bringing its total to 670 by spring 2011. The new locations will operate as leased units.
“Through this agreement, Macy’s is able to offer a comprehensive assortment of sun eyewear, including brands not previously available in all Macy’s stores,” said Ron Klein, Macy’s chief stores officer. “Sunglasses are an important fashion and functional accessory for our customers. Going forward with Sunglass Hut, we will be able to offer a wider choice of styles, supported by the high level of service associated with Macy’s.”
Through the partnership, Sunglass Hut wants to strengthen its presence in the U.S. The retailer operates in more than 2,000 locations worldwide, including the Caribbean, Europe, Australia, Asia, the Middle East and South Africa.
“This development reinforces our commitment as a group to the department store segment in the U.S. and to growing the overall exposure of consumers in this market to the quality sunwear category,” said Fabio d’Angelantonio, Luxottica Group’s executive vice president of sun and luxury retail.
The Sunglass Hut store on the 34th Street/Broadway corner of Macy’s Herald Square flagship will remain. The store “is one of our most successful stores and…given the level of traffic this area attracts, it is expected that both locations will thrive,” said Marianne Stangby, assistant vice president, business development for Sunglass Hut.
The new partnership involves “taking someone with a clear understanding of eyewear product, like Sunglass Hut, taking their depth and abilities both from the buying power and the staffing power, and bringing that to a retailer to offer another element to their business,” said Marshal Cohen, NPD Group’s chief industry analyst.
“Now it gives the consumer the best opportunity to buy sunwear in Macy’s,” Cohen said. “Eyewear has become such an important business to the young generation. So for Macy’s, it’s a win.”