Italian eyewear group Safilo has sought to galvanise its portfolio of brands, as well as online sales technology, with the acquisition of San Diego-based eyewear manufacturer and retailer Blenders Eyewear.
Safilo announced in December it had taken a 70% stake in Blenders, which boasts a total value of US $90 million (AU $132m). The company has experienced rapid growth over the past several years, largely thanks to the popularity of its colourful, affordable sunglasses and its highly developed e-commerce platform.
Blenders reports that it generates approximately 95% of its current business through its proprietary direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform, however it has also recently opened its first flagship store in San Diego.
“We are thrilled to welcome to Safilo an inspiring brand like Blenders Eyewear, a fast-growing e-commerce-powered business at the forefront of the latest direct to consumer and omni-channel capabilities, which will enrich our proprietary portfolio with new strong skills and a particular focus on our key US market,” Mr Angelo Trocchia, CEO of Safilo, said.
“With Blenders, we aim to foster and accelerate our e-commerce and omni-channel strategy, leveraging on the digital DNA and proven capabilities of the brand and putting Safilo’s global capabilities at its disposal to enable global expansion of the brand.”
As per the terms of the deal, Blenders CEO Mr Chase Fisher will retain full ownership of the company’s remaining 30% share, as well as continuing as CEO.
“This marks a huge step forward for Blenders and we’re excited to be part of Safilo to reach a wider marketplace,” Fisher said.
Safilo has also secured its luxury offerings by continuing its agreement with Marc Jacobs. The extension of the partnership, which has already run for 15 years, will see Safilo continue to release Marc Jacobs branded frames until December 2026. This includes its luxury Marc Jacobs Runway eyewear collection, which is due for release in January 2021.