Alain Afflelou and Optic 2000 have joined all the major suppliers of ophthalmic lenses, with the notable exception of Essilor International, to set up EuroNet France, the French counterpart of the EuroNet internet service launched two years ago in Germany under the auspices of Rodenstock. Besides Rodenstock, other founding members of the French network, which should be formally launched at next October's SILMO fair in Paris, are American Optical, Buchmann, Hoya and Zeiss.

Essilor had previously announced its intention to set up and operate its own internet portals as open systems for opticians' transactions with their suppliers, but it's not going to be the first or the only one to do so. In Germany, EuroNet has already more than 500 installations to its credit, mostly among independent optical stores, and an established track record. The opticians pay a monthly fee to get a password that allows them to group all their orders from a number of suppliers including Rodenstock, Optovision, Rupp + Hubrach, Stratemeyer, Wetzlich, Schulz, Menrad, Monoptic, Reiss and Silhouette. The system is run by IFA Computer Service in Cologne, which has its own server and is 90 percent owned by Rodenstock.