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Saturday / April 13.
HomemifashionRodenstock Flying High

Rodenstock Flying High

Demonstrating its renewed commitment to the Australian independent optometry market, German powerhouse Rodenstock was a standout at ODMA 2015.

Mr. Oliver Kastalio, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Rodenstock, travelled from Munich to attend ODMA to reinforce the company’s renewed commitment to the Australian market. mivision discussed the Rodenstock strategy and philosophy with Mr. Kastalio.

mivision: What is Rodenstock’s market share in Germany?
Mr. Kastalio: The German lens market is very mature and stable with growth of around 2 per cent. Rodenstock has a 27 per cent market share and 33 per cent if our subsidiary Optovision is included. Rodenstock’s market share with independents is growing well beyond the market growth at about 6 per cent to 8 per cent. This means that independents working with Rodenstock are growing faster than the market.

mivision: The Rodenstock brand is well-respected in Australia so why has Rodenstock not been more of a presence here in recent years?
Mr. Kastalio: I believe that the Rodenstock brand continues to be well respected for its legendary German quality but I think we have let down our customers in Australia with our service offering. Just being German is not enough. We need to have an integrated product and service offering that addresses our Australian customer’s needs. At Rodenstock we call this our ‘System of Better Vision’. Until recently Rodenstock’s supply chain for Australia has not met expectations. We have addressed this by moving our lens laboratory supply point for Australia to Thailand. We supply the same German quality lenses but now we can offer turnaround times of around five days which compares very favourably with our Australian competitors.

mivision: Rodenstock opened its first ‘store in store’ in Brisbane this weekend. Is this the future direction for Rodenstock in Australia?
Mr. Kastalio: This is just one of the many initiatives by Rodenstock Australia. We must leverage the very clear and unique advantage that we have in the Australian marketplace as the only supplier who has both frame and lens capabilities completely in-house. No other supplier offers this feature. We were very pleased to be able to launch our first store in store during this show and we congratulate Zeinab Khalil and Sanjiv Harduwar, owners of Eyedeal Optometrist at Morningside for allowing us to work with them to develop this concept.

mivision: Rodenstock has introduced a number of new frame brands in recent times. Can you elaborate on your brand strategy?
Mr. Kastalio: Our plan is to have a range of brands which address all major demographic sectors in the Australian market. We have demonstrated this for instance with the recent introductions of the rocco by Rodenstock and Bogner ranges to address the younger and more sport minded market segments.