August 14, 2018 – Art-Craft Optical Co. Inc. eyewear will be available in more than 540 Sam’s Club stores beginning next year.
The Sam’s Club and Seiko/Hoya/Vision Ease agreement, announced Tuesday, will have the Henrietta manufacturer’s American made Dress Eyewear Collection in stores next month, officials said. The agreement’s value was not disclosed.
The Sam’s Century collection will feature 12 timeless styles for Sam’s Club members looking for American made Art-Craft Optical products. Models include the Art-Rim Clubman, Art-Bilt Panto and the Art-Bilt Melo-Ray Sunglass, a WWII Aviator sold to the U.S. Army Air Corps.
Sam’s selected the Art-Craft collection to provide members with a classic selection, considered the “bread-and-butter” sales, and to supplement existing selections in the more than 540 stores.
Art-Craft was founded on Water Street in Rochester in 1918 in response to a request from the U.S. Army to make eyeglasses during World War I. For a century, Art-Craft has manufactured dress eyewear; the military was particularly fond of the Art-Craft frames, as the round shape fit different lens prescriptions and they were designed to fit well under gas masks.
While Art-Craft continues to make some dress frames, the company has shifted its focus primarily to the safety glass arena. Wholesalers and retailers are clamoring for frames and safety glasses that have the “made in America” seal.
The Henrietta manufacturer employs just under 100 people and for the last couple of years has seen double-digit sales growth.
“We continue to harness our manufacturing experience and grow our product selection,” said Charles Eagle, president and grandson of Art-Craft founder Charles Joseph Eagle. “We’re focused on expanding our customer base with special purpose military flight operations eyewear, industrial prescription safety eyewear and dress eyewear. The future looks especially strong for American-made products, so we anticipate sales and employee growth in the near future and for the next 100 years.”
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