Amplifon, an Italian company that has become a world leader in the distribution and fitting of hearing aids, has signed a commercial agreement with Salmoiraghi & Viganò (S&V), the biggest Italian optical retail chain. Under the terms of the deal, Amplifon will open 450 “Amplifon points” in S&V's stores, providing information on its services and enabling the clients of the eyewear chain to schedule a hearing test in the nearest Amplifon store.
Amplifon already has agreements with some local opticians and pharmacists in Italy to offer its services to their clients. But until now, Amplifon has used these partnerships to cover areas where it had no presence. The deal with S&V is intended to use synergies between the two companies' networks, giving it access to S&V's clientele. S&V will be paid for directing its customers towards Amplifon.
S&V is 36 percent owned by Luxottica, which has an option to fully take over the group. There are no indications that Amplifon, which has a strong presence also in the U.S. and Australia, has further tie-up plans with the Luxottica group. Andrea Guerra, who acted as Luxottica's chief executive until Sept. 1, has been a member of Amplifon's board of directors since 2011.