The Year 2014: Part 2

december 29, 2014

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This year the optical chains in the Netherlands spent 50 million euro on advertising. The main topics in all this communication are price and discounting. Even that much that newspapers paid attention to it and the Consumer Union decided to investigate whether all these offers are real and true or not. The conclusion was shocking but nothing new for insiders. Consumers do have a very hard time in the stores to get what the advertisements promise. Recently Eyewish launched its December Design Days promising all frames for free. Nothing is less true. When you surf to the explanation of the promotion at the website, almost everything is excluded and you will get frames for free only when you purchase expensive lenses. Strange but true and nobody asks questions or complaints. In Belgium however, opticians did officially complain when Pearle tried to influence eye doctors by offering them expensive glasses for free. Back to the Netherlands where Specsavers needed to be corrected by the Opticians Union when it misused the Union’s quality mark to disqualify another discount chain Hans Anders. All together nothing new but still disappointing and certainly no good promotion for the optical branch. Interesting was HAL’s announcement in Spring that they would consider an IPO for GrandVision which was confirmed when the investment company published its half year figures. The IPO would have taken place in November but is postponed to Spring 2015. More and more fashion brands decided to sell to chains. This marks an interesting shift in the market where innovation becomes more important compared to fashion which becomes less important. After our “merchants versus lovers” topic yesterday,  this is a second interesting development: “fashion versus innovation”. More about it tomorrow!

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