NewsOptical titan Günther Fielmann passes away, leaving a $2 billion empire and a legacy of innovation

Optical titan Günther Fielmann passes away, leaving a $2 billion empire and a legacy of innovation

Glasses from the brand Fielmann are known all over the world.
Glasses from the brand Fielmann are known all over the world.
Images source: © Wikimedia Commons

10:29 AM EST, January 5, 2024

Mr. Fielmann reportedly passed away peacefully at his home in Lütjensee, Schleswig-Holstein region, surrounded by his family.

Establishing Fielmann's first retail space in Cuxhaven in 1972 laid the foundation of his successful optical empire. At the time, eyeglass frame choices were limited and visually unappealing. Fielmann addressed this need by producing more aesthetically pleasing designs and selling them without additional manufacturing costs.

This strategy was the cornerstone of his remarkable success. Presently, there are 977 Fielmann optical outlets globally, employing a total of 22,000 workers, with the last recorded annual sales reaching around 2 billion dollars.

Core Vision: Customer Service

Günther's passion and dedication to his profession inspired his son Marc, who is currently 34. Marc assumed the leadership role of the Fielmann Group in 2019.

"My father consistently implemented customer-oriented services that were once non-existent. He revolutionized the entire industry to better serve our clientele," Marc stated in remembrance of his father.

In 1985, Günther Fielmann cemented his brand's reputation with the enduring advertising slogan, "Glasses: Fielmann."

In 2012, Günther Fielmann ensured the family's future income, by transferring majority ownership of the Fielmann Group to a family foundation. Over the subsequent eight years, he gradually handed over control to his son Marc.

Besides the optical industry, Günther Fielmann had a keen interest in organic farming. He purchased and refurbished the Plön Castle, establishing it as a training center for aspiring opticians. Fielmann generously supported various initiatives in education, science, culture, ecology, and conservation. He also rewarded his employees with company shares.

The Chair of the Fielmann Group Supervisory Board, Prof. Mark Binz, has honored the late entrepreneur as a "visionary and the entrepreneur of the century."

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