Fielmann AG is a German optics company focusing on retail eyewear. External sales in Europe with 695 branches in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia (including franchises and industries) amounted to €1.51 billion in sales and 7.8 million glasses in 2015. The Fielmann stock is listed in the German MDAX index and at the northern German regional HASPAX index. With its 586 stores in Germany Fielmann enjoys a 52% unit market share of the industry, as well as a 21% sales market share. The company is seen as the market leader in Germany and largest optical chain in Europe.
Günther Fielmann, a state-approved master optometrist, is the founder, major shareholder, and chief executive officer of Fielmann AG.
The Fielmann family controls more than 71% of the company's shares through its family holding, KORVA SE, the Fielmann Familienstiftung and directly held shares.
In 1972 Günther Fielmann established an optometry shop in Cuxhaven. He recognised a gap in the market for eyewear for consumers using mandatory health insurance as payment, as these customers often faced a disappointing lack of covered choices in frames. At the time, there were only six plastic models of eyeglass frames for adults and two for children.
In 1981 Fielmann signed a special contract with the AOK insurance at Esens and designed 90 frame models of plastic and metal in 640 variants. This was the end of an era with unitary health insurance glasses in Germany. In 1984 Fielmann started an advertising campaign with the slogan "Mein Papi hat keinen Pfennig dazu bezahlt! (My daddy didn't have to pay a cent himself!)" From 1987 to 1990 Fielmann expanded his share in the quantity market from 11% to 16% and at the time held 3% of all eyewear stores in Germany.
Fielmann is listed at the stock index since 1994. In the same year the company with 294 subsidiaries and 4,986 employees made a turnover of DM 868 million and a pre-tax profit of DM 80.5 million. In 1995 Fielmann took over Pro-Optik AG of Basel, Switzerland, with its 6 Swiss branches. The Fielmann shop in Zurich's Bahnhofstrasse gained an annual turnover of €16 million. With 4% of all German eyewear stores, Fielmann increased its market share from 32% to 38% from 1995 to 1998. 1999 brought about the market entry to Austria and 24 branches were opened there until 2007.
In 2001 the non-profit Fielmann-Akademie was established, which bought Plön Castle from the government of Schleswig-Holstein in 2002 and opened a training centre for optometrists there. Since 2005/2006 bachelor's and master's degrees in optometry are being offered in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Lübeck. After several years of refurbishments the castle was re-opened for visitors in 2006.
In 2002 a large production and logistics centre was opened in Rathenow, Brandenburg, where 5 million spectacle frames are being shipped per year.
After the cancellation of eyewear products from the catalogue of Germany's mandatory health insurances, Fielmann together with HanseMerkur insurance created an initial tariff insurance.
At the start of July 2015, Fielmann opened its first branch in Italy, in Bolzano and is now present in seven European countries.
On 6 January 2009 Fielmann's stock indexing advanced from SDAX to MDAX.
In 2015 the revenue increased at 5.7% to €1.51 billion. Pre-tax profit increased at 6.2% to €240.1 million, income increased at 4.7% to €170.5 million.
As of 31 December 2015 Fielmann operated 695 subsidiaries, employed 17,287 people, 3,065 of whom were in training. With a share of 5% of all German optometric stores, Fielmann trains more than 40% of all optometrist apprentices in Germany.
As a producer, broker and service provider, Fielmann covers the entire supply chain of the optometry branch. Not only glasses, sunglasses and contact lenses but also hearing aids are offered.
Every year, Fielmann plants one tree per employee. In 2009, chancellor Angela Merkel, minister-president Peter Harry Carstensen and Günther Fielmann planted the one-millionth tree in Büdelsdorf. Fielmann is also engaged in environmental protection, historic preservation and organic farming. Günther Fielmann does this as an organic farmer on his farm in Luetjensee farm as well as on the Schierensee and Ritzerau estates. Fielmann supports schools, municipalities, old people's homes and promotes youth sport.