AN EYE ON CANADA: Luxottica Group SpA said Thursday it is acquiring Canadian-based eyewear chain Shoppers Optical, which it will convert to its Pearle Vision brand. The chain comprises 74 stores across eight of Canada’s provinces, with 26 stores located in Ontario. The chain is owned by King Optical Group Inc. The price of the purchase, which is expected to be finalized next month, was not disclosed. The acquisition will increase Pearle Vision’s presence in Canada, making it one of the leading national optical retail chains with a total of 114 stores. Luxottica also owns 73 LensCrafters brand stores and 81 Sears optical stores in Canada.

BUFFALO APPOINTS U.S. HEAD: Todd Howard has been appointed to the newly created position of president of the U.S. business for denim brand Buffalo, David Bitton, which sells in department stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom. Howard will oversee all U.S. operations and reports to Gaby Bitton, president of the company’s business development. Howard was most recently president and chief executive officer of children’s licensing company CWF USA.

This story first appeared in the May 19, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.