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ClearVision Optical optimistic on Latin America biz
As a designer and distributor of eyewear with domestic and international business, Hauppuage-based ClearVision Optical has learned how to quickly ride the tides of global change.
"We’ve been selling international for over 25 years, and I think international -- more than domestic -- morphs and changes faster," said ClearVision executive vice president Peter Friedfeld. "Economic conditions in those countries create both opportunities and challenges."
For now, the company sees the most potential in Latin America -- and expects business in Mexico and Brazil to double within the next two to three years, Friedfeld said.
"We’ve been in Mexico for over 20 years, in my last visit I saw something different there than what I’ve seen there before," he said, adding that the growth of the middle class there will help fuel sales.
Even within the Latin America market, the company has learned to adapt to changes -- for example, in the last three years, business has dwindled in Venezuela with the political turmoil. But at the same time, the company has managed to build a more flourishing business in the Caribbean.
ClearVision, which was founded in 1949 by Friedfeld's parents, now employs about 128 people in its Hauppauge office. Friedfeld runs the company with his brother, David.
The company currently does business in more than 40 countries -- making up about 10 percent of ClearVision's sales -- and the goal of recent expansion has focused more on penetration into the current countries' markets rather than growing the breadth of the business, Friedfeld said.