Safilo is an Italian optical company manufacturing and distributing high-end eyeglasses frames, sports goggles, sunglasses and other eyewear accessories. Safilo was founded by Guglielmo Tabacchi in 1934 after he acquired the first Italian manufacturer of frames and lenses that was active since 1878. Safilo was listed public on Milan Stock Exchange in 1986, and is now still the world’s leader in the eyewear industry.
Safilo presently operates under 5 house brands and 28 licensed brands which are all known to consuming public. The own brands include Safilo, Oxydo, Blue Bay, Carrera and Smith. The licensed brands include Armani, Boss, Dior, Gucci etc. Through Safilo’s successful brand portfolio strategy, it penetrates into the high-end eyewear market, and occupies a significant share in the global market.
The effectively-managed plants throughout the globe ensure Safilo to stand still in the very competitive luxury optical markets. Safilo now owns 7 production factories, 4 in Italy, 1 in Slovenia, 1 in Salt Lake City of USA, and 1 in Suzhou China. Besides these own plants, Safilo is outsourcing immense amount of semi-finished parts from qualified premium manufacturers mainly in Asia. In order for sustainable development, Safilo employs dozens of engineers and designers to do research on materials and fashion trends to put Safilo on the competitive edge.
Safilo distributes its eyewear through its 39 direct sales branches and networks of other local distributors to about 130 countries in the world, and there are about 130,000 points of purchase where consumers can access Safilo eyewear in the world. Safilo also owns 300 retail chains in Europe, America and Asia selling eyeglasses, sunglasses and sports goggles.
In 2001, Safilo was de-listed in Milan after the Chairman Vittorio Tabacchi successfully launched a takeover bid and acquired the major shares of Safilo.