Chicago-Area Pearle Vision Centers Get New Owners -New Arlington Heights and Schaumburg Owners Purchased the Centers for Personal Reasons-

MASON, Ohio, Feb. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Pearle Vision, one of North America's largest and most trusted licensed optical brands, has signed two new agreements in the western suburbs of Chicago, changing formerly corporate-owned centers to licensed operations by local owners in Arlington Heights and Schaumburg. Both new owners are personally vested in the Pearle Vision brand, one having begun her relationship working with the brand as a teenager and the other having been on the receiving end of the brand's philanthropic outreach.

The Arlington Heights location is now owned by Marianna Barsky, O.D., and her partner Steve Pelitsky, O.D.  Dr. Barsky has worked nearly her whole life with Pearle Vision. She started at the Norridge location when she was 16 years old, worked her way through optometry school and purchased the location in 2010.  Arlington Heights is the third location Dr. Barsky owns, and in a potential replay of history, her daughter, a high school senior, is now working in that neighborhood eye care center.

The Schaumburg location, corporately-owned since 1996, is now owned by Amir Essani who has worked in the optical field in Atlanta for 12 years making glasses and then managing a variety of stores including LensCrafters, Target Optical and Costco Optical. Essani recently relocated to Chicago with his wife, a former teacher who managed high-end retail locations and who will be business manager of the Schaumburg Pearle Vision franchise. As a boy growing up in California with his Pakistani-born parents, Essani received his first pair of glasses from the Gift of Sight program, now called OneSight. Coming full circle, he's passionate about giving back to others through OneSight, which is the philanthropic outreach of Pearle Vision's parent company, Luxottica, to provide eye glasses to people in need across the globe.

"I guess I'm kind of living the American dream," Essani said. "Since I received so richly, I really believe in giving back now. How appropriate that I can now do that from a Pearle Vision franchise location that I now own." 

The Arlington Heights store is located at 704 E. Rand Street.  The Schaumburg store is at 850 East Golf Road.       

Pearle Vision has a significant legacy in the industry, providing genuine eye care to patients through a doctor-centric business model. The franchise has continued to outpace competitors by evolving to meet patients' changing needs and providing quality products and services they desire. With more than 610 centers located throughout North America, the company offers best-in-class eye care provided by neighborhood doctors who are skilled optometrists, a principle created by Dr. Stanley Pearle in 1961.

Pearle Vision is now seeking to grow its national footprint and has identified development opportunities in markets from coast-to-coast. In addition to new territories available for development, corporate-owned locations in markets such as Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Florida and Washington also are available and have thriving operations with strong customer-bases.

To fuel its growth, the company is looking for optometrists interested in licensing opportunities. Ideal candidates for Pearle Vision ownership should possess a desire to join a trusted industry-leading brand and work within a proven system to provide exceptional eye care and superior patient service. Pearle Vision licensees can expect their initial investment to build a new center to cost approximately $200,000, in addition to a licensing fee of $30,000.

Optometrists interested in exploring re-licensing or new development opportunities should call 1.800.PEARLE.1 or visit www.ownapearlevision.com.

About Pearle Vision
Pearle Vision was founded in 1961 by Dr. Stanley Pearle, who began the concept of one-stop, total eye care with the opening of the Pearle Vision Center in Savannah, Ga. Pearle combined complete eye exams with an extensive selection of eyewear. In 1981, Pearle Vision began offering licenses to select doctors and opticians. Today, with more than 610 eye care centers located throughout the United States, Pearle Vision is built around a doctor-centered business model with a primary focus to deliver genuine eye care to patients and become a trusted source for all their eye health needs. Pearle Vision is owned by Luxottica, a leader in premium fashion, luxury and sports eyewear. For more information, visit http://www.PearleVision.com.

Luxottica Group S.p.A.
Luxottica Group is a leader in premium, luxury and sports eyewear with approximately 7,000 optical and sun retail stores in North America, Asia-Pacific, China, South Africa, Latin America and Europe, and a strong, well-balanced brand portfolio. House brands include Ray-Ban, the world's most famous sun eyewear brand, Oakley, Vogue Eyewear, Persol, Oliver Peoples, Alain Mikli, Arnette and REVO, while licensed brands include Giorgio Armani, Bulgari, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Starck Eyes, Tiffany and Versace. In addition to a global wholesale network involving 130 different countries, the Group manages leading retail chains in major markets, including LensCrafters, Pearle Vision and ILORI in North America, OPSM and Laubman & Pank in Asia-Pacific, LensCrafters in China, GMO in Latin America and Sunglass Hut worldwide. The Group's products are designed and manufactured at its six manufacturing plants in Italy, two wholly owned plants in the People's Republic of China, one plant in Brazil and one plant in the United States devoted to the production of sports eyewear. In 2012, Luxottica Group posted net sales of more than €7.0 billion. Additional information on the Group is available at www.luxottica.com

Safe Harbor Statement
Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those which are anticipated. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the ability to manage the effects of the current uncertain international economic outlook, the ability to successfully acquire and integrate new businesses, the ability to predict future economic conditions and changes to consumer preferences, the ability to successfully introduce and market new products, the ability to maintain an efficient distribution system, the ability to achieve and manage growth, the ability to negotiate and maintain favorable license agreements, the availability of correction alternatives to prescription eyeglasses, fluctuations in exchange rates, changes in local conditions, the ability to protect intellectual property, the ability to maintain relations with those hosting our stores, computer system problems, inventory-related risks, credit and insurance risks, changes to tax regimes as well as other political, economic and technological factors and other risks and uncertainties referred to in Luxottica Group's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward looking statements are made as of the date hereof and Luxottica Group does not assume any obligation to update them.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Amanda DelPrete
954-893-9150
adelprete@fish-consulting.com

Emily Ryan
513-765-3358
eryan@luxotticaretail.com

Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130709/NY43871LOGO

SOURCE Pearle Vision



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