BUSINESS Optical Retailer Fielmann Group Enters U.S. Market, Acquires SVS Vision and Befitting.com, to Establish Fielmann USA, to Be Headed by Former EyeMed Exec, Lukas Ruecker By Staff Wednesday, June 7, 2023 11:05 AM HAMBURG, Germany, and DETROIT—The Fielmann Group (ETR: FIE), a leading European eyewear provider, announced that it is entering the U.S. market with two complementary acquisitions. The company stated this is an important milestone in the internationalization that the German family business is pursuing with its "Vision 2025 growth strategy." The Fielmann Group has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100 percent equity ownership of SVS Vision, an optical retailer that operates more than 80 stores across nine U.S. states.As the market leader in the state of Michigan, SVS Vision generated more than US $100 million in sales in 2022. The transaction is expected to close by Aug. 31, 2023, subject to customary closing conditions. Transaction details were not disclosed.The Fielmann Group also announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100 percent equity ownership of Eyevious Style, Inc., the company known for its online eyewear retailer Befitting, which "simplifies eyewear shopping for vision insurance customers." This transaction is expected to close today.Marc Fielmann, CEO of the Fielmann Group, said, “Fielmann’s purpose is to help everyone hear and see the beauty in the world. Our acquisitions of SVS Vision and Befitting are in line with our Vision 2025 with which we digitalise and internationalise our family business. This is the first step in our long-term plan to redefine what U.S. consumers can expect of eyecare and eyewear.”In connection with the transactions, the Fielmann Group announced that it has appointed Lukas Ruecker as CEO of Fielmann USA, Inc. Ruecker joins the Fielmann Group after spending more than a decade at Luxottica Group, most recently serving as president of EyeMed Vision Care. Ruecker stated, “Over its 50 year history, the Fielmann Group has shaped the European eyewear market with its signature customer centricity. SVS Vision is known for its friendly service, great people and long-standing heritage while Befitting provides an exceptional digital platform and outstanding talent. Combined they constitute the Fielmann Group’s omnichannel platform with which we are going to empower our customers in U.S. optical retail.”In FY 2022, the year of its 50th anniversary, the Fielmann Group generated external sales of €2.03 billion. Its consolidated sales rose to €1.76 billion and sales in its international markets reached net sales of €506 million. The group operates as an omnichannel platform comprised of digital sales channels as well as more than 900 retail stores across Europe.