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Thread: X-Cel Optical gobbled up by Big E

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    X-Cel Optical gobbled up by Big E


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    Sung while doing my best flamboyant Freddie Mercury impression:

    And another one gone
    And another one gone


    And another one bites the dust!

    Hey....I'm gonna get you too

    Another one bites the dust!

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    Underemployed Genius Jacqui's Avatar
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    This is an outrage !!!!!!!!!

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    I hate Essilor so so so much.

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    Maybe you all hate them, but you keep buying their products.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judy Canty View Post
    Maybe you all hate them, but you keep buying their products.
    In some ways, it's almost impossible to NOT buy their products. :-(

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeAurelius View Post
    In some ways, it's almost impossible to NOT buy their products. :-(
    Now, that piqued my interest. In what ways?

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    Master OptiBoarder MakeOptics's Avatar
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    Private label FF lenses, you still need blanks. Need those specialty blanks, they've been assimilated.

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    Master OptiBoarder NCspecs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhiTrace View Post
    Private label FF lenses, you still need blanks. Need those specialty blanks, they've been assimilated.
    Yup. I know Shamir provides most of the blanks available but then Essilor has their hand in that cookie jar too. Thats as far as I feed the beast if I can help it.
    "Strictly speaking, there are no enlightened beings; only enlightened activity." -Shunryu Suzuki

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    Do Zeiss or Hoya lenses indirectly fund Essilor in any way (unless they have transitions)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judy Canty View Post
    Now, that piqued my interest. In what ways?
    Some (mumble mumble) of years ago, X-Cel had an advertising campaign entitled "All the Odd Ducks", and it played to their strengths: making the one-off or short production runs of lenses that were not possible to get anywhere else.

    You know I work in glass, so here's just an example: where else can you get a plano base D35 in a 2.50 add? (Diving mask lenses)

    In CR-39 casting, they make not only extra thick lens blanks, but extra thick lens blanks with plano backs. I'm pretty sure if you wanted them, they could make some with a plus power back.

    They have ALWAYS been the go-to place to get the off-the beaten track, odd-ball lenses (within the realm of reality and availability of raw materials). X-Cel is the last large-scale fuser left in the US. Look what happened when VE moved to Indonesia. First their quality dropped in the bucket, then they had a fire that destroyed the facility and they were off-line for 2-3 years.

    Why is fusing so important? If you want made-in-the-USA CR-39 bifocals, X-Cel is about the only place left that makes them that way, using fused glass molds.

    As we know, when "E" comes in, they clean house and drop all the "insignificant" and "unprofitable" product lines and turn the facility into a clone-mill. Will this happen at X-Cel? I don't know, but if past history is any clue, the answer is most probably yes. I hope I'm wrong. I pray I'm wrong. But if I'm right, my life has just gotten a lot more complicated.

    Joe and Wayne are holding only 20% "control" of the company now. What's going to happen to prices? "E" now controls the prices of a major lens manufacturer in the US. I suspect we will see prices go up across the board and availability of product ranges shrink significantly.

    That's my two cents, but I've based it on being a customer of X-Cel since 1975 and watching "E" take over the industry since the 1990's.

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    What happens if "E" decides that free-forms need to be processed only at its facilities and starts tightening up on the supply of single vision lenses?

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    Master OptiBoarder NCspecs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_S View Post
    Do Zeiss or Hoya lenses indirectly fund Essilor in any way (unless they have transitions)?
    You can bypass Transitions by using Photofusion with Zeiss. I think Hoya is completely independent which is one of the main reasons I use them.
    "Strictly speaking, there are no enlightened beings; only enlightened activity." -Shunryu Suzuki

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    Is Younger optical still independent?

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    Master OptiBoarder LENNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_S View Post
    Is Younger optical still independent?
    For now yes! But who knows for how long!

    Vision Ease is also still ind!

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    At least I'm still safe selling drivewear!

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    Master OptiBoarder MakeOptics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeAurelius View Post
    What happens if "E" decides that free-forms need to be processed only at its facilities and starts tightening up on the supply of single vision lenses?
    They'll create an opportunity for another supplier. Great for me I use an E lab and now I have more options.

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    Master OptiBoarder LENNY's Avatar
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    Is there ANY product that is better and can't be found in Essilor, Zeiss or Hoya owned lab?

    Drivewear comes to my mind, but is it really much better than polarized transitions and/or polarized suns...

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    OptiBoardaholic kentmitchell1961's Avatar
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    I wonder how long it will be before they run out of labs and lens companies to buy and turn their attention to the frame makers? Essilor, we spell it B O R G....

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    Lenny, you could use an independent lab. We usually have access to products other than Essilor, Zeiss or Hoya, Seiko for instance, or Younger or Vision-Ease or Polycore.

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    Master OptiBoarder LENNY's Avatar
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    Judy, that was not my question!
    I am sure your lab also uses Essilor products.
    I really wanted to know what are the pure people that are using Essilor or Zeiss or Hoya labs missing out on???
    What product you can offer that is not available from them and better than what the offer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LENNY View Post
    Judy, that was not my question!
    I am sure your lab also uses Essilor products.
    That in it self is a great question.

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    By your standards, Drivewear will not make the cut. I suppose that between the three of them, you can get what ever you want, until they decide you can't and you have nowhere else to turn.

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    I think the only way Younger gets sold is if there is someone NOT by the last name of Rips at the top.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_S View Post
    Is Younger optical still independent?
    The answer is YES! and Younger carries a lot of specialty products like Xcel.

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