Luxottica Retail’s Licensed Brands Group to Close 50 U.S. Sears Optical Locations

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MASON, Ohio–Luxottica Retail’s Licensed Brands division will close 50 Sears Optical locations in the U.S., VMail has learned.

The news was shared internally with associates. In response to a query from VMail, the company did not provide which specific locations would close, but a Luxottica spokesperson said, “Today, we are sharing the difficult, but necessary decision to close 50 Sears Optical locations across the U.S. The impacted stores have served their customers and communities well, but have struggled with results over time. The Sears Optical team is incredibly committed to the long-term, sustainable growth of the brand.

“These changes will enable us to reallocate resources toward strengthening the Sears Optical brand and build on the quality, style and service our customers have come to trust,” the spokesperson continued, adding, “We are working hard within the company to find new placement for impacted associates and the right partnerships for affiliated doctors of optometry.”

Prior to this most recent announcement, Sears Optical stores in North America totaled 701 units, which included 591 stores within Sears and another 41 freestanding Sears Optical stores. There are 69 Sears Canada stores and have been no closures there.

After Luxottica Group’s (NYSE: LUX) recent second quarter financial results were released in late July, Andrea Guerra, CEO, in response to a financial analyst’s question about store count adjustments, indicated that store closings within Sears might be expected.

Yesterday, Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD), owner of Sears department stores and Kmart discount chain, reported its ninth straight quarterly loss as sales continued their decline. The group lost $573 million in the second quarter period and $975 million during the first half of the year. Revenue for the quarter fell 9.7 percent to $8.01 billion. Sears has closed 130 of its worst-performing stores this year. Sears Holdings Corp. has a 51 percent interest in Sears Canada and noted in its release that it's evaluating the business.