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Alain Afflelou

Quick facts
Year business began:
1972
Franchising since:
1978
Estimated number of units:
1,395
Alain Afflelou is the leading optician in France. The brand was established in 1978 when the founder Alain Afflelou set up three franchise stores. Afflelou graduated as an optician and went on to enrol at the Bordeaux Faculty of Medicine where he qualified as a hearing aid acoustician. By setting up his own chain of optician stores he wanted to change people’s perception that glasses had to be expensive. He did this at first by launching a half price promotion on all glasses brands and was charging dramatically less than other opticians.

In 1995 the brand started to franchise outside France with the first store establishing itself in Belgium. Alain Afflelou has been growing for more than forty years and now has 1,400 locations worldwide. Its success has been down to regular new innovations at remarkable value. For example, in 1994, Protect Afflelou was launched consisting of glasses with polycarbonate lenses which do not break. Alain Afflelou also later launched its Nextyear Program which allows people to spread the payment of their glasses over a year with no interest or added on fees. Their Win Win program allows people to have a pair of glasses for life including replacement lenses should prescription change. The TCHIN TCHIN Progressive offer, offers the customer customised glasses with a great selection of lenses available and a second pair for just an extra one euro.

The Franchise System

Alain Afflelou has continued to grow into a credible brand name that people flock to. It won Best Optician Network for 2016 in both France and Spain and it also won Best Customer Service for 2017 in the optical category. All in all, the company is doing very well.

The network of franchises has grown immensely over the last forty years or so. Alain Afflelou recognises how crucial it is that its franchisees are supported and trained properly so that quality of products and customer service do not sway from store to store. The franchise provides the new branch with all the information it needs. Training takes place with the Alain Afflelou Academy and ensures that franchisees are ready and capable to run their new business. Day to day support is always available, even after initial training. Financial support is provided through the Adelante program which can cut certain costs.

Alain Afflelou also supports the franchisee when choosing the site location, when opening the store, when dealing with finances, when recruiting and managing a new business as well as devising marketing and promotion plans. Franchisees are independent owners but have the comfort of knowing that there is always support available.

Corporate Social Responsibility

The Alain Afflelou Foundation was founded in Spain in 2007 with the goal of improving vision and hearing quality on a daily basis. It also wants to increase awareness about eyesight and hearing problems and of ways to deal with them. The foundation launches information campaigns for a number of reasons. They want to make parents aware of the importance of discovering vision and hearing problems in their children earlier rather than later to ensure greater success in school. They also want people to be educated on how solar rays affect our eyesight and how to protect them from the sun. Children between the ages of five and seven are served free of charge in Alain Afflelou stores.

‘The Desert of Children in Morocco’ is a project which enables opticians to travel to Morocco and evaluate the eyesight of the population in half a dozen villages and help improve them.

Alain Afflelou care about the environment and have partnered with BlueTram to raise awareness and try to reduce air and noise pollution. They stand behind the BlueTram Project which is the creation of a tramline without rails or overhead wires.

News

In 2015 Alain Afflelou partnered with the American star Sharon Stone to shoot advertisements for Afflelou Paris and other deals the franchise offers. The firm wants to continue establishing itself internationally.

In 2017, Alain Afflelou launched a new website to reflect the premium brand image. The aim for the new website is to create an online experience for the customer that is a similar experience to the one they would experience in the physical store.

Not only that, but also this year, the company present SMART TONIC, a brand new innovation that means glasses respond to different environmental realities. Throughout the day, lenses can be switched to suit the conditions. This includes Dark Sun lenses for UV protection, Blue Block lenses for using a computer, Sun Polarized lenses for playing sports outside, Night Drive lenses for oncoming headlights and 3D glasses for watching movies. All of this and no need to change frames.

Sources
https://www.afflelou.com/
http://www.jouvreunmagasinafflelou.com/
https://www.slideshare.net/EmilieGhilardi/discover-alain-afflelou-group-71222986
http://www.acuite.fr/actualite/web-tech/115994/afflelou-lance-son-nouveau-site-web-pour-une-experience-phygitale

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