This excerpt taken from the LUX 6-K filed Jun 4, 2008.
China and Hong Kong
In China and Hong Kong, 2006 was a year of re-organization and extension of the retail network following the acquisition of the Xueliang Optical, Ming Long Optical and Modern Sight Optics chains (around 270 stores in all). With the opening in September 2007 of LensCrafters new flagship store in Beijings Oriental Plaza, an icon of fashion and shopping, Luxottica took the first step towards making the LensCrafters brand a synonym for prestige eyewear in China. LensCrafters in fact offers the best of Made in Italy eyewear, an extraordinary level of customer service and the most advanced technology in the industry, thus positioning itself as the first real eyewear boutique in the Chinese market and serving as a benchmark for premium eyewear products. LensCrafters is the first chain in China to guarantee its products for 30 days from the date of purchase. Further, thanks to specialist personnel, LensCrafters stores are now seen as a valid alternative to hospitals, which used to be the only trusted venue for eye-exams. LensCrafters will be launching a major initiative in 2008 to differentiate itself from all other optical chains.
In 2007, a total of 85 stores were re-branded to LensCrafters bringing the LensCrafters network to 140 stores in China and Hong Kong.
In addition to a 15.7% increase in sales on comparable basis, 2007 saw both a higher average selling price and an increasing number of customers. As a premium optical retailer, LensCrafters positioning has become a more attractive option versus traditional optical retailers. High levels of service, eye-care programs, lenses and brands will be key to long-term growth in this region.
The optical segment will continue to grow in step with the offering of fashion brands and products, introducing brands tailored to the demographic profile of the areas served. The sun segment is another business opportunity as increasing numbers of Chinese view sunglasses as part of their daily wardrobe, being increasingly fashion conscious and aware of health issues, especially theyouth.
Store performance was particularly strong in Hong Kong, where all stores have been converted to the LensCrafters brand. The Groups premium brands, the high profile of its stores and its high level of service quality have been a great success, as reflected by its growing market share in Hong Kong.