The German buying group, which has 362 affiliated optical retailers, is launching a new logo and its first banner, which is expected to be adopted gradually by the majority of them in one form or another. Right now, they have no common corporate identity, although they purchase many items through the group.

The new yellow, red and blue Optiker Gilde logo will be backed by a big TV and radio advertising campaign, worth 3 million DM (e1.5m-$1.3m), which will run from next month through March of 2001. The longterm goal is to achieve a recognition level of 12 percent in the German market by 2006, and to help the guild to expand its market share from 7.8 to 15 percent, positioning it in the middle of the market.

Figures presented at a recent press conference by Winfried Bahn, general manager of the guild, indicate that integrated chains like Fielmann, Apollo, Krane, Binder, Matt or Karstadt, indicate that they will likely raise their combined share of the German optical market to 31.5 percent this year, with a combined turnover of 1.86 billion DM (e960m-$800m). Their 1,200 stores are expected to sell a total of 6.2 million pairs of eyeglasses, raising their market share in volume to 52 percent from 50 percent in 1999.

Based on these figures, the average chain store is selling on average 18 pairs of glasses per day, as compared to only 2.27 pairs for the remaining 8,400 independent shops. The members of Optiker Gilde perform better than others, as they manage to sell 11 pairs per day, yet some action appears necessary in view of a forecast that the number of glasses sold in Germany will probably decline to about 11.8 million paris next year from 12 million pairs in the year 2000.