Luxottica is acquiring Shoppers Optical, a Canadian chain of 74 optical stores operating in eight different provinces, with its base in Ontario. After the closing of the transaction, which is expected next month, all the stores will be converted to the Pearle Vision format, which is very similar. With a total of 114 stores, Pearle Vision will thus become the leading national optical retail chain in Canada.

The acquisition of Shoppers Optical from King Optical Group will raise to 268 the number of optical stores operated by Luxottica in Canada, with nationwide coverage in a market worth US$1.4 billion where retailers have mostly a regional profile. The takeover will bring into the organization its first full-service Canadian lens finishing laboratory with anti-reflective coating capabilities.

Luxottica Retail is already by far the prime factor in the much larger U.S. market. Jobson Publishing estimates its 2005 retail sales in the USA at $2,410 million, with 2,889 stores trading under such banners as LensCrafters, Sunglass Hut, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical and BJ's Optical. Wal-Mart was second with optical retail revenues up to more than $1 billion for the first time in a market worth nearly $23 billion. Wal-Mart's own Sam's Club and Wal-Mart Vision Centers comprise a network of 2,505 units.