Mr. Busch, since August 2020 you have been the second Managing Director alongside Dennis Martens, who founded the company in 2009. What made you switch from working on the agency side to working in-house for a digital company like Edel-Optics?
Michael Busch: The optical industry is a very traditional industry and still has a lot of potential for change in e-commerce; I’m very excited about this. On the agency side, I was always just a consultant – in the middle of things and yet still outside. Now, I’m a co-decision maker for my own products and also bear responsibility for them. Dennis and I are like two fitting pieces of a puzzle: he brings a wealth of technological and professional expertise in the field of optometry to the table, and I develop the strategies to make Edel-Optics even better known and more successful.
I had already worked for clients in the optics sector in previous years, but one thing clearly struck me as positive about Edel-Optics: eyewear is not just seen as a visual aid, it’s also a fashion statement and Edel-Optics’ range is more fashionable and more attractively priced than the competition.
Edel-Optics’ retail concept has already won several awards. What makes your store concept so interesting?
Dennis Martens: The integration and systematic expansion of sales channels are much-discussed topics in the retail sector. What makes the Virtual Merchandise Display so special are the synergy effects we generate from our linking of online and offline sales. Customers in the store get the best of both worlds: The choice, search functions and prices of the Internet, but at the same time the service and advice of a specialist optical store.
We want our customers to feel empowered. The fact is that most people depend on the optician, and three out of five customers choose a pair of glasses recommended by the optician. However, sitting opposite us is a customer who knows exactly what he wants. Transparency is the keyword, which is why at Edel-Optics, through the integration of the online store, our customers are always able to choose from the entire product range, even in the physical store.
Another point is that we as retailers can handle logistics very efficiently and reduce capital lockup because we use our inventory twice. Added to this is our consistent implementation of the concept with the iPad at the centre. When you look at it, you can see very quickly that we’re not running the whole thing half-heartedly.