Entrepreneur
Didier Pascual
CEO
Profile

Groupe AFFLELOU is Europe’s leading network of franchise optical stores. In 2011, Groupe AFFLELOU launched a hearing-aid activity on the same model as the optical activity.

Online

0m (optical)
Revenue
Sector: Consumer Investment date: 2012 Apax position: Minority Activity: MidMarket
Why did we invest?

Groupe AFFLELOU is the leading optical franchise in Europe, #3 optical banner in France and #2 in Spain. The company has a long-standing track-record of successful products innovations (€1 daily contact lenses, made-to-order progressive lenses), commercial offers (2 for 1…) and services (insurance, free-of-charge credit). It benefits from strong brand awareness: 99% in France, 87% in Spain, 89% in Belgium, 80% in Switzerland.

Groupe AFFLELOU benefits from positive structural trends in its market: ageing population, increasing exposure to digital display, technological innovation and growing sensitivity to fashion.

How do we intend to create value?

The investment thesis is to roll-out stores in existing or new markets (China) and to acquire medium-sized optical chains in France, Spain, Portugal and Denmark.

2017

For its financial year ending 31 July 2017, sales reached €373m, an 8% increase over 2016. As of end-2017, the Group is present in 13 countries and operates an international network of nearly 1,500 stores in France and Spain, most of which are franchised.

25% of revenues are generated abroad.
Opening of 35 stores worldwide bringing the company’s total number of stores outside France to more than 520.

The group has recently completed several acquisitions:

  • happyview.fr and malentille.com (2016)
  • Optical Discount, a chain of discount store franchises with 89 sales outlets in France (2015)

2017
Launching of the new website with the objective of increasing online sales and qualified web-to-store traffic.

2016
Acquisition of two internet sites, Happyview.fr and Malentille.com, bringing in an experienced team of digital experts.

Previously

2016

As of 2016 year-end, the Group had a foothold in 13 countries and an international network of 1,403 stores, of which 165 are hearing-aid sales outlets in France and Spain, most of which operate under a franchise model. For its financial year ending 31 July 2016, optical sales reached €345.7m.

2015

  • At the end of 2015 the group operated an international network of 1,277 optical stores in 13 countries. For its financial year ending 31 July 2015, optical sales reached €323.9m. The number of hearing-aid points of sales, as of 31 December 2015, was already 157 across France and Spain, mainly under a franchise model.
  • The Group outperformed its market with notably the acquisition of Optical Discount stores and the launch of Win-Win staring Sharon Stone.

2014

  • Launching of the first collection of frames bearing the Afflelou signature. The 45 frames in the collection are manufactured using non-deformable materials derived from research conducted by aerospace scientists.
  • Affleloustore.com was launched with sales initially limited to contact lenses and their associated products. The launch of the e-commerce site is the first stage of the group’s deployment of an innovative multi-channel strategy.
  • The group agreed a three-year collaboration with the actress Sharon Stone, who will become the face of the Groupe AFFLELOU.