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IndustryEye care
FoundedMarch 1983; 36 years ago (1983-03)
FoundersE. Dean Butler
Number of locations
Areas served
United States
Puerto Rico
Hong Kong
ProductsEyewear, glasses, sunglasses
LensCrafters Optique store, Ann Arbor, MI

LensCrafters is an international retailer of prescription eyewear and prescription sunglasses. Its stores usually host independent optometrists on-site or in an adjacent store. The company has its corporate headquarters in Mason, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati.

LensCrafters has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Italy's Luxottica, the largest eyewear company in the world, since 1995.[1][2] At the end of 2018, Luxottica operated 1,158 LensCrafters stores, of which 1,050 are located in North America and 108 are located in China and Hong Kong.[3]


LensCrafters was founded in March 1983 by E. Dean Butler, who had been a manager with Procter & Gamble.[4][5][6][7] Butler first developed the idea for a "while you wait" eyeglass retailer after helping a Procter & Gamble colleague produce television commercials for a family optical business in the late 1970s.[4]

LensCrafters achieved sales of $2 million in its first year of operation[8] before Butler sold the company to the United States Shoe Corporation in 1984.[9][7] Butler remained as LensCrafters' CEO until 1988,[10] at which point he departed to open a new optical franchise, Vision Express.[4] During Butler's tenure leading LensCrafters as a U.S. Shoe subsidiary, company revenue grew from $13.6 million to $305 million.[8][7]

LensCrafters had just three locations when U.S. Shoe purchased it; by 1989, there were 350 locations, and LensCrafters was generating 40% of U.S. Shoe's operating income.[11]

In 1992, LensCrafters surpassed Pearle Vision to become the largest chain of eyeglass retailers in the United States, with roughly $660 million in annual revenue.[7] Luxottica acquired Pearle Vision in 2004, combining the country's two largest eyewear retailers.[12]

In 1995, Luxottica launched a hostile takeover attempt of U.S. Shoe, with the goal of acquiring LensCrafters.[13] Luxottica announced in April 1995 that it had reached an agreement to purchase U.S. Shoe for $1.4 billion.[14]


  1. ^ "At LensCrafters selling candor and designer frames", New York Times (April 16, 2006).
  2. ^ "U.S. Shoe Agrees to $1.3-Billion Takeover Offer". LA Times. April 17, 1995. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  3. ^ "Luxottica Annual Report 2018" (PDF). Luxottica. 2019-04-10. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  4. ^ a b c "E. Dean Butler: An alumnus with a clear vision". natsci.msu.edu. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  5. ^ Knight, Sam (2018-05-10). "The spectacular power of Big Lens | The long read". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  6. ^ Lieber, Chavie (2019-03-06). "Glasses can have a markup of 1,000%. Two former LensCrafters executives revealed why". Vox. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  7. ^ a b c d "History of LensCrafters Inc. – FundingUniverse". www.fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  8. ^ a b "Dean Butler | Bio | Premiere Speakers Bureau". premierespeakers.com. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  9. ^ "Mason's LensCrafters now part of $52.5B eyewear giant". Cincinnati.com. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  10. ^ "E. Dean Butler: Executive Profile & Biography - Bloomberg". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  11. ^ "LensCrafters Inc". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  12. ^ JOURNAL, Christopher Emsden and Cecilie RohwedderStaff Reporters of THE WALL STREET. "Italy's Luxottica Agrees to Pay $441 Million for Cole National". WSJ. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  13. ^ "U.S. Shoe, Luxottica Courting Shareholders In Takeover Battle". Hartford Courant. March 31, 1995. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  14. ^ "Luxottica to Acquire U.S. Shoe for $1.4 Billion". The New York Times. April 18, 1995. Retrieved September 15, 2018.

LensCrafters India, has opened its first store at Mall of India, Noida. LensCrafters presents one of the most advanced and comprehensive eye-health examinations available in the country.

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