Salmoraghi & Viganò, Italy's leading optical retail chain, further improved its results during the 1st quarter ended Dec. 31, posting a 20 percent increase in gross profit, while sales increased by 4.4 percent on a same-store basis and by 12.2 percent in absolute terms. It now has a total of 271 points of sale, of which 221 are company-owned. That includes 209 Salmoiraghi stores and 62 lower-prices VistaSi units.

By Dec. 31, the number of stores had risen to 264, and the Italian retail group is reportedly aiming for a total of 350 doors and annual sales of €150-160 million. Incidentally, our article on Salmoiraghi in the Dec. 27 issue of Eyewear Intelligence had some incorrect figures about the number of its stores. As of last Sept. 30 it operated a total of 260 sales outlets ? 215 directly managed and 45 in franchising. In particular, the low-priced Vista Si chain expanded to 36 stores and 24 shop-in-shops. In the course of the past financial year, the group opened 12 new Salmoiraghi stores, in addition to five franchises, and 22 VistaSi outlets.

Salmoiraghi continued to invest in special events and activities to support its banner in the past year. Among other initiatives, it has launched a specific radio channel, called Salmoraghi & Viganò Music Station, broadcasting soft music and promotional messages in its stores 13 hours a day. In the past year it also organized 13 art exhibitions in its shops, and it acted as foundation partner in an international art prize in Venice.