Warby Parker's recent funding round at a $1.2 billion valuation is a major milestone for the company, but in the eyewear market, a billion dollars is still small potatoes.

While Warby Parker continues to attract more private investor demand than it can accept--a luxury problem many companies would love to have--the business is no match for Italian eyewear giant Luxottica, a public company that controls more than 80 percent of the market.

Founded by Italian billionaire Leonardo Del Vecchio in 1961, Luxottica owns LensCrafters, Oakley, Ray-Ban and Sunglass Hut, and has sales of more than $10 billion. As 34-year-old Warby Parker co-founder Neil Blumenthal previously told Inc. in an interview, Luxottica "basically owns the frame industry."

Though New York-based Warby Parker and Luxottica have built their businesses around the exact same consumer product, the two companies don't have much in common. Let's put things in perspective amid all the hype. Here's how the two brands stack up.

Warby Parker Luxottica

$95 per pair Pricing Average price of $300. Pairs can retail for as much as $4,000
Designed in-house
E-commerce free trial
Business Model Licenses brands including Chanel, DKNY and Ralph Lauren 
12 physical storefronts Physical Footprint More than 7,000 retail stores
Not yet profitable Profitability 2014 EBITDA of $1.7 billion

 

Published on: May 1, 2015