The acquisition of 10 Novolent stores from the bankrupt Indo group is part of a program intended to raise the share of the Spanish optical retail market held by MasVision Grupo Optico from 3 percent to 9 percent by 2015. The group, which is part of the international optical retail galaxy of Hal Trust, wants to operate a total of 300 +Vision stores in the country by then, 60 percent of which would be company-owned and the others franchised. MasVision means more vision.

MasVision currently has 75 directly operated stores, two franchises and 80 «associated stores» that are linked to the chain through a loose franchise agreement, but this status will be terminated by next June to be transformed into a classical franchise like that of Alain Afflelou, which has been growing strongly in Spain lately.

MasVision has in fact hired Alfonso Alonso, who has been responsible for the development of the French chain's franchising program in Spain, giving him the mission to recruit between 20 and 30 franchisees each year. Alonso has since been replaced by Ricardo Santiago de Dios in this position.

MasVision has agreed to pay €1.8 million for Indo's 10 best Novolent stores. It will invest an additional €500,000 to refurbish them and to adapt them to the +Vision concept. MasVision had previously acquired the 40-store Spanish Loop Vision chain that previously belonged to Safilo, the big Italian eyewear manufacturer in which Hal took a 37 percent stake earlier this year.

Hal acquired MasVision in 2008 from an investment company through its own French-based subsidiary, GrandVision. Its GrandOptical stores in Spain have been converted to the +Vision low-cost concept, which has been very successful during the recent economic crisis. Selling only private label products, +Vision has experienced a 10 percent sales increase on a comparable store basis so far this year, in spite of an estimated drop of between 5 and 10 percent in the Spanish market.