Luxottica announced it is closing it’s Winnipeg manufacturing facility today.
The closure is expected to result in the loss of up to 200 jobs, something provincial officials said they were not expecting.
A statement provided by Communications Services Manitoba on behalf of the provincial government said:
The decision to close the Luxottica’s Winnipeg plant appears to be part of a larger consolidation of its North American manufacturing facilities. The company did not approach the Province about keeping the Winnipeg manufacturing facility open. The company has indicated that is also reducing the staffing levels in the Cincinnati Optical Village facility. In downsizing situations, Labour Adjustment Services assists works with employers to provide training and supports to help workers transition into new jobs. Training and employment supports are available to workers through Manitoba Jobs and Skills Development Centres.
The company, based out of Italy, is the world’s largest eyewear manufacturer with labels such as Ray Ban, Ralph Lauren and Prada.
The plant will close Thursday, May 29 with work being shifted to their Toronto and US facilities.
Earlier this week Luxottica announced a partnership with Google to distribute Glass in 2015.
In a statement provided to Optical Prism by Jane Lehman, Head of Corporate Communications for North America, the company noted the change was part of the company’s regular review procedures.
The statement read:
Luxottica’s commitment to providing great customer experiences includes bringing the newest lens manufacturing technologies to in-store labs and operating innovative manufacturing facilities. Luxottica regularly reviews in-store labs and manufacturing facilities to drive efficiency and maximize resources across its manufacturing network. As a result of the most recent review, Luxottica has made the difficult decision to close its Winnipeg manufacturing facility in Canada on May 29, 2014. In addition, Luxottica has made the separate decision to reduce the staffing levels in the Cincinnati Optical Village facility. Luxottica is providing support programs to help impacted employees through this transition.
The Canadian production will continue through our partner distribution facility in Toronto, as well as US facilities.
The Opticians Association of Canada (OAC) said the shut down is a result of globalization in the industry.
Executive Director Robert Dalton provided a statement on behalf of the OAC.
” The Opticians Association of Canada is sympathetic to the over 200 employees and families who are affected by this closure. We feel that it is a direct result of the further erosion of the optical industry due to globalization. The public demand for lower cost goods is a driving factor here. This trend is expected to continue in most sectors as companies position themselves to be more competitive in a global economy. Our advice is to buy local and support local. ”

Optical Prism continues to follow both stories.

Read more including an interview with Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger from CBC News here.

Below a video from 60 Minutes on the power of Luxottica