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Groupings of optical actors: what are the advantages?

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The optics sector is experiencing a period of concentration: more and more actors are grouping together. Takeover or merger, even the largest groups like Essilor, Luxottica, or Alain Afflelou get started. We will explain everything to you !

The most significant groupings

It has been learned this year, two of the biggest optics manufacturers have announced their merger. Luxottica , the number 1 in the manufacture and distribution of frames has indeed associated with Essilor lenses. If the news has been much in the news among professionals in the sector, it is not the first time that two major players in the optical group. In 2016, Luxottica had, moreover, already announced its purchase of the oldest Italian chain of manufacturers Salmoiraghi & Vigano . A brand that owns 400 stores in Italy, including 63 franchises and offers a very qualitative offer, close to that of traditional opticians .


This year also saw the purchase of the low-cost optics chain Tesco Opticians by GrandVision via its UK unit, Vision Express . Thanks to this acquisition, the manufacturer now enjoys excellent coverage in the United Kingdom, with more than 600 stores.

Optical retail across the Atlantic too

optical grouping

On the other side of the ocean, the grouping of optical players is also topical. One example is New Look , a Montreal-based company that recently announced the purchase of Iris optician . It had been founded by Dr. Francis Jean, associated with a group of optometrists . The Iris Network, a leading player in optical care in Canada, has more than 150 stores. For New Look , it's a very good financial transaction and the group has since been very successful on the Toronto Stock Exchange. As for Iris , it has become an independent firm within the New Look Vision group.

Optics: why group together?

optical grouping

This type of consolidation , whether by merger or buy-back , has many advantages for the optics industry :

  • Expanding and increasing global coverage : Buying a brand that has multiple stores can cover more territories. This is one of the main reasons for Luxottica's acquisition of Salmoiraghi & Vigano .
  • Attracting a new customer base : Tapping the huge customer base of Tesco stores in the UK was one of GrandVision's goals, acquiring Tesco Opticians .
  • Extend its range: Alain Afflelou , by buying Optical discount in 2005, has put a foot in the field of low – cost optics .

And you, what do you think of the growth of this phenomenon in the optics sector?