This excerpt taken from the LUX 6-K filed May 25, 2007.
(*) of which 417 are franchises.
The Groups wholesale distribution network covers over 130 countries, with directly-controlled operations in its 28 main markets, where customers are mostly retailers of mid- to premium eyewear, such as independent opticians, optical retail chains, specialty sun retailers and duty-free shops. In North America and other areas, main customers also include independent optometrists and ophthalmologists as well as premium department stores. Direct distribution in the key markets gives Luxottica Group a considerable competitive edge, making it possible to maintain close contact with customers, maximize the image and visibility of the Groups brands and optimize distribution. In addition to making some of the best brands, with a broad array of models tailored to the needs of each market, Luxottica Group also provides its wholesale customers with the assistance and services needed to enable their businesses to be successful.
One of Luxottica Groups main strengths is its ability to offer pre- and post-sales services which have been developed and continuously improved over decades. These high-quality services are designed to provide customers with the best products in a timeframe and manner that best enhance their value. The distribution system is connected at the international level to a central production planning a network linking logistics and sales functions and outlets to the manufacturing plants in Italy and China. Through this network, global sales and inventory are monitored daily and, based on the information from the market, production resources and inventory levels are adjusted. This integrated logistics system is one of the most efficient and fastest in the industry. In Asia, Europe and the United States, centralized distribution centers over the years have significantly improved distribution speed and efficiency. Luxottica Group is thus able to provide its customers with a highly-automated system for order management that reduces delivery times and minimizes inventory while providing high-quality products.