Annual Report 2018

Solaris continues its global expansion

Sunglasses have traditionally been marketed as a fashion item rather than an eye care product, and as such, are generally not suitable for the large portion of the population that requires vision correction.

Our Solaris store-in-store concept aims to address this limitation by offering an attractive assortment of functional yet fashionable sunglasses, of which the majority can be fitted with prescription lenses. Furthermore, we have consistently shown that optical stores with a Solaris corner deliver higher comparable growth than stores without, due to the complete concept approach that encompasses assortment, customer journey, free try-on and a year-long activation.

Our aim is to ensure that Solaris becomes a leading global sunglass destination through a strong brand strategy based on a harmonized customer experience with centrally developed marketing materials, store concept books, operations manuals, and brand launch packs. We also offer an ever-growing assortment of models and are moving quickly into digital, multi and omni-channel activities.

Training our staff to bring the Solaris concept to our customers each day is one of the most important parts of our operations. For that purpose, we are centrally providing training materials in e-learning or classroom formats to ensure a consistent sales experience. We also modernized our training modules to be mobile friendly

and entirely sales-focused, resulting in positive effects on sales and other KPIs.

In 2018, GrandVision increased its Solaris footprint by 22%, reaching more than 4,200 points of sale compared to the previous year. In addition to the continued roll-out of our proven store-in-store concept, Solaris has built a stronger presence in department stores in Argentina, Belgium, France, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Turkey and the Middle East.

[Read more about Solaris in the dedicated case study: A sunglass destiation for all].

Solaris' four channel strategy

  • Solaris corners in optical stores: In 2018, Solaris furniture design further adapted to the optical banner positioning.
  • Dedicated stand-alone Solaris stores: In 2018, Solaris rolled out a new store concept centered around fashion and lifestyle, and brought to life "The Ultimate Sunglass Selection".
  • Department Stores: Solaris increased its presence in department stores by adding new locations such as Printemps in France, Falabella in Argentina, and Debenhams in the Middle East.
  • Pop-ups: Solaris and its versatile quick & easy pop-up concept could be seen at concerts, fairs, train stations and malls around the world.