Pharmacies wake up 1965
The France of General de Gaulle discovers the first food supermarket. Small downtown shops abound and opticians welcome you with their white blouse in dull pharmacies where no frame is presented. These "medical prostheses" are arranged in drawers and outputs only the correction of the bearer.
Prosthetic to fashion accessory
Among the some 4,000 points of sale émaillent territory, only Paris sign exists, under the name Lissac. Focused exclusively on technology related to the trade, it has no ambition to question the foundations of the profession. Unlike the opticians 30 begins to develop a radically different vision of the profession. They have the will to come together to weigh more on suppliers, pass the bezel of the status of prosthesis to fashion accessory and communicate together, for the benefit of a common sign. The bases of the first co-operatives are discarded. In the West of the France, Central purchases Sacol, created as early as 1962, invents Optic 2000 in 1969, a year after the launch of the network Krys, following the incredible "case of the Maltese dagger."Krys, four bearing letters of sensA origin, the Krystal name is held to be the first French national optical sign. Symbol of purity and transparency, as the lenses of glasses, some guildiens are the term too long and opting finally for a single syllable: Krys. Easy to remember, the word avails himself of noble Greek origins: Krystallos (glass or Crystal) and krisis sole (Faculty of elect but also to diagnose). Exactly the message that wanted to pass the pioneers of the group.
The case of the Maltese dagger
Founding myth of the cooperative Krys, this "case" has seen its President, then head of 14 stores under the name of great private de France, send an anonymous email to its members, with the simple K.R.Y.S letters on a white sheet. Buzz before the time to sign their name. The most curious found for Krys only definition "small Maltese dagger."
Half of your mount to the eye
The simultaneous launch of the first two cooperatives of optics, quickly joined by the Association of technicians opticians private (Atol), consistent with the appearance of the first transplanted frames, progressive glass Varilux of Essilor, first caisses systems But the sector remains framed by a law that governs the pricing (free) and especially the conformism of a profession in the paramedical and not yet ready to the next step of the shopping. Among the 5,000 outlets in 1978, one of them stands out particularly in Bordeaux, by offering an ever offer: "half of your mount to the eye." This offer, supported communication by the equivalent of a year of benefit, is launched by a certain Alain Afflelou.1979-1988: the commercial revolution
Afflelou prohibits the white blouse
Precursor and key, decried or revered by the profession, Alain Afflelou impulse as it embodies the evolution that the optical distribution during the years 80.Sa of work leaves no one insensitive and since 1979, sought by camardes alumni of promotion, it launches the first franchise on the sector, in his name obviously. Personify the optician in communication is one of his big ideas. Another will be to ban the white blouse in all stores to its sign. Or devote a significant part of its turnover (between 5 and 10) to the communication. The clear objective is to transform the optician, paramedical technician until then, trader assumed.
Björn Borg, the first star in glasses
In the wake of Afflelou, but with very different positions, Lissac, always focused on technique, starts free, same as Lynx optics who wishes to invest the galleries of the malls with a concept dedicated to the claws. For a decade, the sector is its revolution. As early as 1980, the solar sports mark Bollé is the first to afford the services of a gate flag star by the name of Björn Borg, while the designer Alain Mikli launches its campaign "glasses to see as much as to be seen".Sport, it is crazy communicating AfflelouGrand, Alain Afflelou was soon to combine his two passions: advertising and sport. President of the Girondins de Bordeaux from 1991 to 1996, he was also a sponsor shirt of the MTP but has not confined to football. He was associated with its name and its network carrying athletes to lenses at the Olympic Games of Athens in the Solitaire du Figaro and is currently a partner of Roland Garros and the main sponsor of the rowing Bayonnais rugby club.
Crazy of Afflelou, Krys test
Communication is at the centre of all projects and the distribution is no exception to the rule. While a manufacturers Union launches the first TV spot dedicated to the glasses to promote multi equipment, Krys stands in 1984 with an offer "three days to test" for its customers. But this is Alain Afflelou embodies success in 1985 by launching a real pad in the fed up with his campaign TV "It's crazy of Afflelou" remained famous.
Already one-fifth of the market
At the time, signs, all franchise or co-op, is still only 20 of the points of sale. But their initiatives sustainable structure sector. At the end of the 1980s, while only 500 additional stores have been registered for 10 years, Krys exceeds 400 stores, Afflelou Optic 2000 and 300 200, with worked architectural concepts. A little behind its direct competitors, the latter launches in 1988 the concept of second pair offered. An initiative, popularized by Alain Afflelou and resumption by all, which marks the end of a cycle and the entry of optical distribution into its golden age.1989-1994: The golden age
Doubling of the graduates in the optical
For five years, nothing stops the optical chains and openings multiply. A phenomenon attracting the covetous. Franchises and cooperatives benefit from the increase in the number of graduates. The trade is in vogue and the period of crisis in the early 1990s, engage in studies of optical appears as a simple career choice (a BTS in two years is enough) and sensible. Within 10 years, the number of annual graduates double, from 250 to 500. A reservoir capable to work in the store but also to open his own point of sale. As for the first time, labour supply exceeds demand and wages offered to hire collapse by 25. A further motivation for young graduates to open their own point of sale.
65 of margin rates
This windfall benefit in full to chains of optics to accommodate new members or franchisees. A margin higher than 65 and activity largely subsidized by the complementary health are onlyalmost all will live their founder who can enforce the tenets provided by their sign and very few of these outlets will experience difficulties.Join the club of the chicsQu Bigleux' have in common Jacqueline Maillan, Claude Brasseur, Alain Chabat and Claude Chabrol All were at the origin of the chic Bigleux Club in 1989. Crazy and parisianiste, this club had humour for ambition. But he was involved in a vital movement for the profession of optician: the de-escalation of the glasses.
Also safe and profitable activity, for which bankers almost lend their eyes closed and trade funds are trading at a value of about 120 of net sales excluding tax, could not leave insensitive commercial locomotives to garnish their galleries. After mammoth as early as 1989, Carrefour develops a concept of entry which is not yet public. The business model developed by the co-operatives and franchise, who want general practitioners, specialists of progressive lenses that bring the most margin, on a medium-high range but with a 2nd offered pair positioning, remains the best adapted and most recognized by the public.
Tightened management model
To try the counter, GrandVision succursaliste group developed two concepts: GrandOptical, proposing mounts of marks and the glasses for the sign, with a supply of the product in an hour, and General of optics, where almost all products are brand (DSD) to ensure a supply of entry. The arrival of the discounter, in the wake of Optical Center or Optical Discount, all as branches, forced the traditional signs to "squeeze" their management model to not to be overcome.1995-2004: Big manoeuvres
Joint purchasing power
As early as 1995, two cooperatives in second plan, Atol and Visual, boarded a joint purchases, Visatol station, to weigh as much on their suppliers as leaders. They try to diversify and rise or redeem secondary signs to ensure growth relays for their members and franchisees in their trading area. Krys thus develops Vision Plus and Vision original grid plate the France and the group approached 15 market share. Optic 2000 launches Audio, 2000, a sign of audio prosthetists to its opticians in need of diversification, while Alain Afflelou attempts to redeem Lissac, which will fall eventually in the Optic 2000 anyway in 2003.
Redemption of Lynx optics
At this time, the large maneuvering continues with the purchase of Lynx optics by Krys, and Carrefour Optic by Alain Afflelou. To its opticians, it launches in 2004 plural sign, also base DGF as Feelgood (now Claro of Afflelou). These reconciliations not newcomers arrive, as Tati Optic, which quickly opens to the franchise (unsuccessfully) prevent or Leclerc optical. Ditto for succursalistes GrandOptical and General of optical (Group GrandVision) tempted by the adventure of the franchise to mesh more territory.
Antoine, Johnny, Zinedine, Adriana
To ensure this strategic shift, GrandVision Group sells its less profitable photographs (Photo Services and Photo Station) signs, reassured the stock market and quickly owned a Dutch investment fund. A fundraising to buy Visual network and will thus constitute a network of franchise of 100 units in a few months. Krys is not left and monte a subsidiary Guildinvest to accommodate investors and captured at the same time of the main independent purchasing power.The war of the end idolesLa of the 1960s saw the appearance onstage of a young centralien named Antoine who, in his "rants", dares to tackle the rock star' 'n' roll. "You see planes in the corridors of the Metro and Johnny Hallyday Médrano caged!" In need of inspiration, it replicates by his song "long hair and short ideas." Two huge success giving birth to "the war of the idols" orchestrated by their record label. Private sector, the two men to appreciate but 45 years later, they continue their squabbles by proxy spots, one for Atol, the other for Optic 2000.
75 of the activity
With a market between 3 and 5 per year, no sign is constrained by these manoeuvres. They allow even to recruit doors flags of national notoriety: Antoine to Atol, today joined by Adriana Karembeu, Johnny Hallyday in Optic 2000 and Zinedine Zidane at GrandOptical. Alain Afflelou has become the people of his teaching. The height of advertising investments, particularly in television, is a market that weighs less than 4 billion euros in sales. Any sign that passes the bar of 300 stores is its place on the small screen. The TV is also a good way to recruit partners, which independent under name trustent now a store on two and perform 75 of the activity in optics.Since 2004: The vigil of weapon
2 times more opticians in ten years
With these large maneuvers, signs leaders were able to keep a time ahead of their competitors. They have imposed a model today copied by all, including purchases of independent stations, which they also propose signs, architectural concepts and DSD to their members, but no contract of partnership. If stars are continuing the communication of signs and Alain Afflelou multiplies the innovative offers (3rd pair at 15, payment in 12 times without frais), the history of optical distribution is (nor) is a long quiet river. The progress of more than 50 of the number of opticians since 2000, the passage of the symbolic cap of 10,000 points of sale, the intrusion of the complementary health recruiting to turn one installed in their networks of stores, opticians the authorization of the online sale of products optiques are all challenges that signs were now facing.
Attack on any part
Since 2007, a decree allows the optician to adjust an order of less than three years for the renewal of equipment. Open the door for a profession which now aspires to a return to more technical and health considerations. Because if signs have known enrich optometrists by giving them commercial tools and performance management, they did that few cases of the defence of the values associated with the trade.
Number of opticians have the feeling that interest signs is today entirely in phase with that of opticians, that lack of opticians on some boards has been detrimental to their profession, that the commercial part has demeaned the profession and indirectly helped the complementary health, discounters and e-merchants of their place in the landscape. Not to mention distrust the customers and the media which regularly denounce irregularities in stores and the opacity of the price. Regain control on these themes will be the issue of the five to ten years for signs if they wish to continue a success story began more than 45 years ago.