At GrandVision, our dual retail brand strategy — a mid-low and a mid-high market position co-existing in the same market — is a winning recipe for success. Our strategy has been proven in countries like France, Finland, The Netherlands and beyond.
In 2019, we saw the opportunity to strengthen our position in the mid-low Swiss market by acquiring the well-known, family-owned Swiss optical chain McOptic. We embarked on a comprehensive post-merger integration plan, including the repositioning of this retail brand. We steered McOptic back to its roots as a 'value for money' player with the assortment, pricing and commercial policies to support this positioning. We took particular care and effort in securing the onboarding and involvement of the McOptic team in both the decision-making and the change management journey. This included multilingual kick-off sessions for all employees in French, German and Italian to explain our new strategy for the brand to McOptic teams. This careful planning inspired employees and secured their engagement — our key to success in this process.
How we repositioned McOptic
We repositioned the McOptic brand through delivering a completely renewed product assortment, a new pricing policy and updated commercial policies. These changes came together in upgraded McOptic stores, designed using our latest store concept as a blueprint. We also changed our communication with customers to underscore McOptic’s position as a value for money player. These commercial updates were implemented by 4Q 2020, and by the end of 1Q 2021 the majority of our 60 McOptic stores will be refitted to the new store concept.
Securing a successful integration built on a strong foundation
When we welcomed McOptic into VisilabGroup and GrandVision, we developed a comprehensive plan to ensure a successful integration. It was critical for us to secure team engagement through extensive efforts in onboarding, training as well as McOptic involvement in key decisions. We assembled an integration made up of key McOptic, VisilabGroup and GrandVision leaders and ensured this team was composed of employees possessing the right knowledge, best skills and competencies to foster a positive and productive process. We also established a combined IT system to further enable a rapid and robust integration, enhancing store operations, full process control and operational transparency.
Our shared teamwork and professionalism were fundamental in transforming McOptic in the highly competitive Swiss market. While we introduced changes gradually through 2020, we were able to see the full impact in 4Q 2020. This included higher levels of McOptic employee satisfaction with an average eNPS score of 55, which translated into improved instore service and a higher customer satisfaction score of 67. We also saw positive commercial momentum, delivering double digit growth and significant improvements in EBITA. We are proud to say that McOptic is part of our GrandVision retail brand portfolio and that it further strengthens our already leading market position in Switzerland.