Recently, there has been a surge in acquisitions, large sunglasses companies buying up smaller players.
Whenever a market is controlled by a select few, naturally, they want to keep it that way, which can mean acquiring younger upstarts.
But digging deeper, sunglasses are sold at expensive mark-ups in part due to a lack of competition. Alternatively, larger companies have more expensive overheads and brick-and-mortar infrastructure, meaning they need to charge more for their sunglasses. In any event, that leaves a gap in the market for direct-to-consumer competitors to offer similar quality sunglasses for cheaper prices.
For example, if a high-end brand sells sunglasses for $500, it's only a matter of time until new players join the market and offer similar quality styles for, say $100. That niche included two young independent companies, Blenders and Prive Reveaux, both of which sold stylish sunglasses for under $100. They have both been acquired recently.
But higher prices are only 1 symptom of a tightly controlled market.
The other symptom is a lack of innovation. Large companies don't have much incentive to lower their prices OR innovate new products because they control the market.
Peeq sunglasses are extremely innovative, in that they are the world's first reversible sunglasses, essentially two pairs in one. They can be flipped around with the flick of a wrist for a completely new design. Importantly, Peeq sunglasses are made from all the highest-quality materials possible, meaning consumers are finally able to purchase an ultra high-quality product, AND with innovative features, for a fraction of the prices of the larger corporate-owned brands.
See coverage on 2 recent deals below, from Reuters and Bloomberg:
Italy’s Safilo (SFLG.MI) has agreed to buy 70% of Blenders Eyewear, looking to boost digital sales through a deal it said valued the U.S. surf and ski sunglasses brand at $90 million. Founded in San Diego in 2012 by surf instructor Chase Fisher, who will remain as chief executive and 30% shareholder, Blenders generates 95% of its turnover online and only recently opened its first bricks-and-mortar store in San Diego.
Italian eyewear company Safilo Group is acquiring a majority stake in celebrity-backed label Privé Revaux, which sells sunglasses and reading glasses co-branded through collaborations with the influential and famous. The company is buying out the stake controlled by a group of investors including private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. Safilo will own 61% of the company, which had about $20 million in sales last year, nearly doubling revenue from the prior year, according to a statement Monday. Privé Revaux was founded in 2017 by Chief Executive Officer David Schottenstein. Actors Jamie Foxx, Hailee Steinfeld and Ashley Benson are partners in the business. All will retain some equity in the company. Safilo website