NEW YORK — Oakley Inc. said on Tuesday that it will consolidate its 110 mall-based stores to create the second-largest specialty sunglass chain in the U.S.

The chain will be named Sunglass Icon and will incorporate all of the firm’s multibrand sunglass stores under Oakley’s wholly owned Iacon subsidiary. The consolidation includes Iacon stores under the names Occhiali da Sole, Sporting Eyes, Sunglass Club, Sunglass Designs and existing Sunglass Icon stores and will carry all levels of eyewear.

Oakley’s two other stores, named Optica, will focus on premium designer eyewear and will be managed by The Optical Shop of Aspen, a group of 14 luxury eyewear boutiques based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., which Oakley acquired in March.

“In conjunction with Oak­ley’s renewed focus on optics, establishing a single Sunglass Icon retail concept is an excellent opportunity for us to build value through enhanced consumer recognition and loyalty,” Scott Olivet, chief executive officer of Oakley, said in a statement. “The Sunglass Icon retail concept is designed to help convey our expertise across the entire sunglass category and provide a high-quality, customized shopping experience for multiple consumer segments.”

Sunglass Icon stores are to be renamed and retrofitted immediately. The transition is to be completed in 12 to 18 months.

Olivet said the retail brand consolidation strategy will increase operational efficiency by way of a singular store design, with regional advertising and promotions.

Oakley also has 60 Oakley O stores worldwide that sell all Oakley products, including performance apparel and accessories, prescription eyewear, footwear, watches and electronics, and five U.S. Oliver Peoples stores.

Sunglass Hut is the leading specialty chain in the category, with 1,460 units in the U.S. Solstice, a luxury high-end sunglass chain, has 68 freestanding U.S. stores and plans to open 35 stores per year over the next two to three years. Solstice is also contemplating opening stores in resort destinations in Hawaii and the Caribbean.

Oakley, known for its sport performance sunglasses, accessories and apparel, has had a busy year. In February, the firm acquired Los Angeles eyewear brand Oliver Peoples in an effort to increase its portfolio to include more luxury offerings. The company is also in the midst of overhauling its portfolio to focus on optics, realign its apparel platform, restructure the footwear business and expand its retail platform.

This story first appeared in the June 21, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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