By Sarah McGoldrick

Transitions Optical has confirmed they are phasing out their Pinellas Park operations.

The Pinellas Park location is home to the Transitions Optical headquarters.

In a statement Jose Alves, General Manager, Americas, Transitions Optical said “Transitions Optical is phasing out manufacturing at our Pinellas Park, Florida, facility between July of this year and the end of 2017. Manufacturing will be moved to other facilities around the world and our overall global manufacturing capacity will be increased to meet anticipated future demand.”

He added the move will help us to further reinforce our competitiveness so we can accelerate the development of the photochromic category and better support the Transitions brand and our customers through the development of new offers and capitalizing on our expertise especially in fast growing markets and Europe.

The firm has approximately 300 full-time employees at the location and it was reported that 40 per cent of those jobs would be impacted.

“Our customers will not see a change in our commitment to or investment in our brand and in our service to them. In keeping with our open business model, our lenscaster partners will continue to be supported by our commercial organization and our North America focused retail and channel sales teams will support customers as before,” he said.

In 2014 Essilor finalized its purchase of a majority state in Transitions Optical for $1.73 billion.
In 2013 Transitions generated sales of $874 million.

“As part of this shift, we are establishing a global brand management team in Europe, which will have overall responsibility for the Transitions® brand. This location will give the team better proximity to growing markets including Europe and the AMERA region,” he said. “Our director of research and development is being located in Europe, for connectivity with the brand management team and manufacturing facility. R&D and engineering resources will be distributed in several global facilities. Those situated in Monroeville will be unchanged.”

He said Transitions believes that these changes will allow us to continue our strong brand leadership and product innovation in the photochromic category and allow the company to better support our partners around the world.