Glasses Direct owner expands into Germany with Netzoptiker acquisition

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Glasses Direct owner MyOptique Group has expanded into Germany with the acquisition of online eyewear retailer Netzoptiker.

MyOptique Group has acquired the German eyewear retailer following a €20m (£14.8m) investment to move further into Europe.

MyOptique, which specialises in selling spectacles and sunglasses online, has identified Germany as an area of potential growth because only 3% of frames are purchased online in the country, although 20% of customers choose to shop online for other items. Additionally, Germany is the largest market for prescription eyewear in Europe and more than 40 million Germans wear glasses.

MyOptique has already been selling glasses to the German market through local versions of its Glasses Direct, Sunglasses Shop and LensOn websites but it believes the acquisition of Netzoptiker will improve the experience for German customers.

MyOptique chief executive Kevin Cornils said: “This is a great opportunity for the MyOptique Group to bring its expertise and experience in the online optical market and great product to the existing Netzoptiker customer base and to German consumers. We believe our 10 years of experience in the market, customer-centric approach and strong product propositions will position us well to improve the offering of Netzoptiker and improve its ability to grow in the German market.”

The recent investment brings MyOptique Group’s latest funding round to €43m (£31.9m), which it is using to expand internationally.

Retail sales for the group for the year ending April 2014 were €42m (£31.2m) and the business expects growth to more than double over the next 12 months.

Glasses Direct was the first online opticians to offer customers a home trial of spectacles, which meant they could order four frames online and try them free at home before committing to a purchase.

Benjamin Manleymyoptique