Oakley Sunglasses plans more layoffs in Orange County

Accessories maker Oakley, which is known for its replica sunglasses and sports goggles, plans to reduce 15 to 20 percent of its staff in Foothill Ranch.

The job cuts are a result of some key operations being consolidated into its parent company Luxottica Group, reported the Orange County Register. Italy-based Luxottica (NYSE: LUX) plans to move Oakley’s retail operation to its offices Mason, Ohio, by the end of the year, while wholesale operations will go to the group’s New York office and the Milan office will be in charge of marketing.

Oakley plans to reduce 15 to 20 percent of its staff in Foothill Ranch.

Oakley’s research and development, design, engineering and manufacturing departments will remain in Foothill Ranch, along with a number of administrative positions. Afterward, the company will have about 2,000 employees in the county and at an Encinitas office, the Register said.

Massimo Vian, chief of product and operations for Luxottica, told trade publication Transworld Business that Oakley’s Southern California office will be an “epicenter” for the brand. Infrastructure investments for the Foothill Ranch office have doubled in the past year making it the most advanced automated factory out of the group, Vian said.

Oakley’s apparel, footwear and accessories collections will be scaled back while the group will institute a “minimum advertised price” policy to protect the brand and prevent its products from being sold at discounted prices, Vian said.

Oakley cut about 160 jobs last year and 76 people this year as part of its integration with Luxottica, which bought replica Oakley for $2.1 billion in 2007. The company also is closing its distribution operation in Ontario, while Luxottica builds a new distribution center in Atlanta.

“This final stage of the integration will line Oakley outlet uk up with the rest of Luxottica in terms of channels, functions and geographies, simplifying everything from decision-making to execution,” a Luxottica spokesperson said in a statement.

Luxottica’s other brands include Ray-Ban, Vogue Eyewear, Persol, Oliver Peoples and Alain Mikli. It also has licenses with Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Bulgari, Chanel, Dolce&Gabbana, Ralph Lauren and Tiffany & Co.

Oakley suing AM-PM to stop sale of replica sunglasses

Oakley Inc., which makes sunglasses, apparel and accessories, has filed a lawsuit against convenient store chain AM-PM for selling replica sunglasses that too closely resemble the Oakley brand.

Foothills Ranch-based Oakley filed the lawsuit in federal court Tuesday against Treasure Franchise Co., which franchises AM-PM stores in California, Nevada and Arizona, reported the Orange County Register.

Oakley has sued a convenience store chain for selling sunglasses that Oakley says are too close to its brand.

Oakley claimed the company sells replica sunglasses that are designed to look like cheap Oakley sunglasses, violating seven of its patents filed over a nine-year period with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

“Oakley and its iconic designs are well-known throughout the eyewear industry, and defendant’s eyewear model … is a nearly identical copy of Oakley’s design,” according to the complaint.

The company is seeking that the court issue an injunction against Treasure Franchise to stop selling the glasses and to order AM-PM to give Oakley outlet the money it made from the fake sunglasses, the Register said.

Treasure Franchise parent Tesoro Corp. hasn’t issued a response to the lawsuit.

Oakley has also filed a similar lawsuit against convenience store operator BP West Coast Products, based in La Palma, over the same patents.