Fielmann continues to expand online business

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Fielmann sees “omnichannel” as an important driving force for its growth. In addition to stationary branches, Germany’s largest optician also wants to expand online trading into a technically complex sales channel with the help of artificial intelligence and new apps for smartphones. There, customers should be able to handle the entire chain online, from measuring the visual defect to selecting the frame and placing an order for the finished glasses. In the long term, the market leader is aiming for an online share of 10 percent in its own vision aids business.

The Fielmann branches were often not visited during the pandemic. That also had an impact on the balance sheet. Now, however, consolidated sales in the first half of the year climbed by 29 percent to almost 790 million euros compared to the first half of 2020, which was burdened by the first corona lockdown. For the second quarter alone, there was an increase of almost 60 percent.

The bottom line was a profit of 64.5 million euros in the period from January to June, an increase of almost 150 percent compared to the previous year. This is accelerating the recovery at Fielmann, after having already reached the pre-crisis level in the first quarter.

The hope of a moderate course of the corona pandemic and the expansion of its own online business inspire Fielmann’s forecasts. For the current year, the company expects consolidated sales to increase by more than 20 percent to around 1.7 billion euros. The pre-tax profit is expected to climb from 175.5 million to more than 200 million euros, as Fielmann AG announced on Thursday in Hamburg (PDF).

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According to its own statement, Fielmann benefits from the “interplay of increasing vaccination rates and falling coronavirus incidences”. The outlook is, however, subject to “that there will be no further noteworthy restrictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic in the course of the year that would affect our business again”.

For the year 2021 as a whole, Fielmann plans to install digital sales channels in other countries as part of its “Vision 2025” and to open a total of 45 specialist optical stores across Europe. This should cost 100 million euros annually.

For example, Fielmann would in future compete more strongly with the Berlin company Mister Spex, which was founded in 2007 and which calls itself a “fundamentally digitally oriented omnichannel optician” and had a turnover of 164 million euros last year. Spex shares have recently been traded on the stock exchange.


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