The most famous optician in France, Alain Afflelou has in some decades built a fortune on a simple idea: create a brand with a real added value and selling franchises.
In 1962, the family of Alain Afflelou was repatriated from Algeria. Alain Afflelou began studying at the School of Optometry in Paris before opening his first store in Bordeaux in 1972. At the beginning, the shop is called Visual Optics, then, in 1984, the RSCG advertising men advise the young entrepreneur to appear in advertisements and offer him the famous slogan "We are keen on Afflelou."
Convinced that his glasses must be sold like any other product, he began a marketing campaign based on aggressive commercial offers. In 1978, he offers his glasses at half price. The technique captivates customers. A year later, he proposes the concept of duty. In 1993, Afflelou has 400 stores in France.
Anxious to make his brand famous, Alain Afflelou bets on sport to reach a wide audience. President of Bordeaux football club from 1991 to 1996, Chairman of the Football Club of Créteil in 1997 to 2002, he also sponsors sailing and more recently the football club Paris Saint Germain.
In 2006, Alain Afflelou sells about 70 of his shares to Bridgepoint, an investment fund that now has control of Afflelou SA. But he stays shareholders with a third of the capital. The chain now has over 894 stores in France and Europe, and sells over a million and a half pairs of glasses per year.
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