Alain Afflelou is renaming all 40 of its Pluriel Afflelou stores in France and Belgium Claro Afflelou, the Spanish-sounding name chosen for this alternative retail format at the two Spanish stores that have adopted it so far. The big French franchisor is also extending one of Claro Afflelou's private-label offers to the older network of stores trading under the more established Alain Afflelou banner.

A new TV campaign was launched in France last April 11 to promote the Claro Afflelou brand and its special offer, which somewhat resembles that of Eyes and More, the international Dutch-based optical retail chain that took over Mister Optik in Italy a few weeks ago (see EWI N 11-3+4 of March 11).

All the 300 styles of prescription frames sold in the 42 Claro Afflelou shops in France, Belgium and Spain are sold with single-vision CR39 lenses at two set prices: €129 if the user is aged 18 years or older, and €79 if the wearer is younger. The main difference with Eyes and More is that the Dutch retailer offers two different prices ? €95 and €165 ? for spectacles fitted with single-vision and progressive lenses. Eyes and More also has a special offer for polarized sunglasses

Furthermore, as in the regular Alain Afflelou stores, customers can pay an additional €1 to obtain a second pair of glasses with the same lenses. Alain Afflelou stores offer a much wider range of branded and private-label products at different price levels, but from now on they will also be able to offer private label glasses at €129 a pair for adults.

The French group hasn't been publishing its financial results since it got out of the French stock exchange at the beginning of 2008, following its gradual takeover by the Bridgepoint investment group, which began in 2006.

However, in a press release, Alain Afflelou said the group had a network of 1,026 stores at the end of 2009 and that they had a turnover of €756.06 million after VAT last year. This indicates big growth for the group over the last couple of years as its accounts for the financial year ended on April 30, 2007, showed sales of €566.2 million for a total of 840 outlets.

More in detail, the 42 Claro Afflelou stores had revenues of €30.20 million in 2009, while the 984 Alain Affelou stores made a turnover of €725.86 million. Broken down by country, the 657 Alain Afflelou stores in France had sales of €581.58 million and the 249 stores in Spain reached sales of €109.12 million. The remaining 78 Alain Afflelou stores in Belgium, Portugal, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and the Ivory Coast had sales of €35.16 million.