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Image © Sunglass Hut

An exclusive company profile in the The USA Growth 2000 report looks at how Sunglass Hut uses a variety of technologies to make it easy for visitors to find and try on sunglasses, both on its website and in-store. 

Online shoppers explore the range through a search function that offers product images and suggestions, adapting as search terms change, and through navigation that narrows down the range through brand, size, colour and bridge preference, among other filters. From the product page, shoppers can see sunglasses from all angles and use augmented reality (AR) to try the glasses on. The retailer also offers digital in-store, so shoppers can shop the wider range. 

Sunglass Hut started life in 1971, as a small family business, run through a kiosk in a Miami mall. It expanded into stores, into new markets – starting with Australia and the UK by 1996 – and online, in 1998. It joined the Luxottica group in 2000, and expanded further internationally. Luxottica joined forces with Essilor in 2018. 

Today, as part of the France-based EssilorLuxottica group, Sunglass Hut has 2,949 of its own stores, of which 1,652 are in North America. EssilorLuxottica’s North American business alone reported revenues of €11.6bn (+1.3%) in its 2023 full year, although the Sunglass Hut brand saw “weakened demand” during the year in that region.

Its website features strong images throughout. Product pages feature a choice of images as well as the AR virtual try on option, technical information and a size and fit guide, brand information and recommendations of other products that “you might be interested in”. 

When shoppers check out, they see an estimated day of delivery and costs. Standard shipping is free, as is two-hour collection from the store. Customers can pay extra for same-day delivery, depending on their location. Returns – also with free shipping – can be made for up to 30 days. 

Sunglass Hut engages with shoppers both through a points-based loyalty club that offers, for those who have collected more than 15,000 points, benefits including VIP events, free gifts and same-day shipping. It links from its landing page to Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn and Instagram, where it has a following of 458k followers for product-related inspirational images and videos.

The new USA Growth 2000 report explores the growing businesses that follow on from the US Top500 many of whom were named in the RetailX Global Elite report.

This is a list that includes family businesses that have grown and developed over years, alongside retailers that bring their expertise to a niche customer group, and international brands selling fashion and luxury products.

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