Pearle Vision Re-licensed A Total Of 27 Neighborhood Eye Care Centers In 2013 -- Leading Optical Brand Plans to Convert Additional 40 to 45 Centers in 2014 --

MASON, Ohio, March 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Pearle Vision, one of North America's largest and most trusted licensed optical brands, announced today it signed agreements with new and existing Pearle Vision licensees, converting 27 neighborhood eye care centers from company-owned to licensee-owned in 2013. The company plans to continue this re-licensing effort in 2014 with the conversion of additional centers.

"Converting 27 of Pearle Vision's corporate locations to local optometrists and investors was quite an accomplishment for the brand last year," said Pete Bridgman, senior vice president and general manager, Pearle Vision. "We owe our progress and success to the 10 new and 17 existing licensees, who see the growth potential with Pearle and have a desire to serve their communities and provide the best possible eye care to their patients." 

Of the 27 licensing agreements, Pearle Vision announced 10 new licensees in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas, Tennessee, Illinois and Iowa. In addition, 17 existing Pearle Vision licensees chose to expand their center ownership by licensing additional centers in Texas, New Jersey, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, New York, Wisconsin, Nevada, Illinois and Puerto Rico.

Dr. Ted Brink -- who assumed ownership of four Pearle Vision eye care centers across northern Florida this year and has been a practicing optometrist for over two decades -- said, "Pearle Vision offers optometrists like myself the autonomy to practice in a way that meets patients' needs, but gives us the valuable marketing and buying power of a larger group. Pearle Vision's support team is unmatched, and that is why I chose to expand my business this past year."

Pearle Vision has a significant legacy in the industry and has continued to outpace competitors by evolving to meet patients' changing needs and providing quality products and services they desire. With 600 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. Most recently, Pearle Vision ranked #112 in Entrepreneur's 2014 Franchise 500, making a 48-point increase from the 2013 ranking.

"It's clear that Pearle Vision, with its 50-year legacy, proven systems and comprehensive support, is a terrific opportunity for optometrists to become business owners without the typical risk associated with new practice start-ups," said Bridgman.  "Our doctor-centered business model allows the optometrist to focus on delivering quality eye care, while we focus on delivering superior unit economics that lead to long-term success."

To fuel further 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 http://licensing.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 600 eye care centers 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:
Kim Ryan
770-205-7423 
kryan@fish-consulting.com

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

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SOURCE Pearle Vision



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