Italian eyewear group Luxottica Group has entered an asset purchase agreement to acquire glasses.com,a web site owned by health care provider WellPoint Inc.
The acquisition is part of the eyewear groups plans to expand its digital offering in the US, which it states is estimated to be a 35.5 billion US dollar market with the opportunity to grow to 44-47 billion US dollars by 2020 according to Vision Council and its own estimates.
“We are announcing the agreement to acquire a technology which we believe will benefit the overall eyewear sector and the optical industry in North America, a crucial market for our group and one we remain strongly committed to” said Andrea Guerra, Chief Executive Officer at Luxottica. “The acquisition will function as a starting point to shape an independent, digital platform through which the North American market can and will access the unique domain, innovating the shopping experience and improving the quality of products and services available to consumers.”
Glasses.com allows customers to virtually try on eyewear through three-dimensional image technology, showing people how they look with different sets of frames and allowing them to share results on social media platforms. Luxottica is hoping that this technology will enhance the online experience for their consumers and drive sales.
The acquisition of glasses.com will not have a material impact on Luxottica's consolidated financial statement. The agreement is subject to customary closing conditions and the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.