John M. White

AO Eyewear American Optical Is Under New Ownership

Dec 21, 2019

I meet Alan McKinley a couple of years ago while vacationing on Cape Cod. We spent the better part of a day learning about the operation and it's history.

In 1989 Alan McKinley was hired as a Controller at The American Optical Company and eventually working his way up to President in 1998. As American Optical was slowly sold off in pieces Alan decided to purchase the remaining sunglasses portion of the business. 

When he purchased the AO Eyewear portion of American Optical the sunglasses were being manufactured in China. It quickly became apparent that this was a problem from the point of view of quality control. As a result Alan slowly moved production to Southbridge and trained skilled workers to improve quality.

Soon the quality of the sunglasses improved, warranty claims and returns slowed to a crawl and the reputation of AO Eyewear was restored.

Earlier this year (2019) Alan decided to sell the company to Europa Eyewear, an independent optical eyewear wholesaler in Vernon Hills, IL.  The transition has taken some time but AO Eyewear is quickly returning to it's excellent products and service.

I have been a dealer for AO Eywear for over 10 years and enjoy my relationship with the company. Alan still works for the company, and we look forward to some new products in the new year.

I encourage you to visit our website and view these excellent sunglasses today.

Keep your eyes safe!

AO Eyewear under new ownership


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E Eric Matthews
Feb 24, 2023

I have a pair of so aviator sunglasses from the 1979’s which need arms. Where can I purchase them in canada