The German optical retail market grew by 3.2 percent to €3.88 billion, according to the country's association of opticians, ZVA, but it is bound to decline this year by no more than 5 percent. It fell by an estimated 4 percent in the first quarter. The number of retail companies in the sector continued to increase last year to 10,072, compared with 10,016 in 2007, while the number of their employees grew by 600 to 44,700. According to a survey, Fielmann and other integrated chains have come to represent an estimated 40 percent of the market, up from 19 percent in 2005. Independent retailers generate much lower turnover per store, and about two-thirds of all the retailers are members of a buying cooperative. The share of sales over the internet has remained constant at around 3 percent of the market.