Ferdinand Menrad has taken over the distribution of its products in Poland and Turkey, adding to its numerous subsidiaries and joint ventures around the world. In another interesting initiative intended to maximize the revenues of its French subsidiary, the German eyewear producer has started to offer the Superdry line licensed by Inspecs to opticians in France, where it works with two different sales networks.

Based in Warsaw, the new Polish subsidiary of Menrad is run by Piotr Gawron, who formerly worked with the local distributor of Polaroid Eyewear. It became operational a few days ago. The Turkish operation, which started up last August, is a joint venture with Menrad's former distributor in the country.

The company already has subsidiaries in Austria, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, the U.S., Ireland, the United Arab Emirates and China. Menrad operates its own factory in China. The management declines to disclose the company's turnover, but indicates that its deliveries have remained stable over the years at around 1.5 million pairs, with an upward trend in average selling prices. Two-thirds of the volume is shipped outside Germany.

Besides its own house brand, Menrad, the company produces and markets prescription frames and sunglasses under license from Davidoff, Jaguar, Joop!, Morgan and Zeiss. It also has a joint venture with Viva International for the distribution of its Gant, Guess and Skechers lines of eyewear in the German-speaking countries, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries.

At the recent Silmo fair in Munich, Menrad showed also a large collection of very elaborate frames and sunglasses developed under a new contract with L'Wren Scott, the American stylist who has designed clothes for Michelle Obama and Madonna. They will retail in Europe at prices ranging between €199 and €250 a pair.