Up until 1981, there were exactly 8 different (plastic) spectacle frames that the health insurance would pay for.
And were they UGLY….!!!.
Günther Fielmann was an optician in Cuxhafen and figured that there was a market for stylish, inexpensive frames, so he did a deal with one of the health delivery organisations and designed 90 models in 640 permutations.
Today, he sells 50% of all frames sold in Germany and has a 21% market share and all this with 5% of the number of outlets.
The advertising slogan is “Glasses? Fielmann!” and it’s become firmly anchored in the culture.
The stores are stylish, staffed with personable qualified opticians – 15% of his 10,000 or so staff are apprentices – and he plants a tree a year for each employee.
800,000 and counting.
Of course they’ll try and flog you all sorts of extras, but they’re not pushy and if you say that you don’t want the special insurance against meteorite impact, they’re quite happy to let it go.
Coming to a country near you…..