More than 50 years of experience
Our journey from 1968 to 2007
Synsam was founded in Sweden when a group of ten independent stores came together to form a new local optical retail chain under the Synsam brand. After its establishment, the chain began to systematically expand into other regions in Sweden. Synsam’s expansion in Sweden continued through the opening of directly owned stores and franchise stores. In the 1990s, Synsam entered into its first franchise agreements in Norway [and Finland].
In 1971, Synsam founded the optical retail chain Profil Optik in Denmark, originally under the name “Optik Køb.” More and more stores joined the chain over the years, and Synsam grew from a local optical retail chain into an established, nationwide player in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.
From 2007 to 2014: Synsam consolidated into a unified, integrated group
A new chapter opened in 2007 with new owners for Synsam. This made it possible for the entire Group to grow and Synsam consolidated its operations, which until then had largely consisted of independent stores whose success was limited to their own local market. The goal was to build a unified Nordic group where all of the stores in the chain shared the same work methods, experiences and product offering. Synsam also worked to centralise local functions and developed franchise offerings in Sweden and Norway.
Håkan Lundstedt, CEO
From traditional retailer to a customer-focused lifestyle company in optical retail
In 2014, Synsam was acquired by CVC Capital Partners. With a new owner, new management and Håkan Lundstedt as Synsam’s new CEO as of 2015, a new strategy was created to develop the company’s lifestyle offering. The first step was to identify how Synsam could develop its lifestyle concept through customer questionnaires, interviews and surveys. The results from consumer and employee studies were used to lay the groundwork for Synsam’s continued growth and product development.
The ultimate customer experience based on lifestyle
Based on the results of these surveys, Synsam Group launched a new overarching strategy based on customer focus and a lifestyle concept. Synsam chose to introduce more affordable spectacles as well as an innovative store concept to create the ultimate experience for lifestyle customers.
In conjunction with the new store concept, Synsam made significant investments in refurbishing existing stores in the centralised regions.
Lifestyle, a revolutionary subscription service for eyewear launched in 2016, was the first of its kind among major optical retail chains in the Nordic region. As a complement to the existing offering, Synsam also introduced its own House Brands and Synsam Sports. The new Ai store concept was also launched in the second quarter of 2018.
As a part of transforming the operations, the Group carried out major operational changes. The Group streamlined its portfolio into a harmonised offering, simplified the supplier chain and invested in all Group functions, including a new online platform, IT system and a talent management organisation. To support this new strategy, all employees have undergone sales training to provide the customer with the best in-store experience and advice.
Synsam rewarded for its winning concept
As a result of its lifestyle strategy, Synsam has been awarded several prizes, such as Best Concept and Best Optical Retail Chain by Evimetrix, and was nominated as the Best Omnichannel and Retail Brand in 2018. Synsam was named the most sustainable brand within optical retail three times between 2018 and 2020, according to the Sustainable Brand Index, and in 2019 the Flagship store was also named the best store concept at the Management Events Retail Awards.
Renewed platform for long-term growth from 2020
Today, Synsam Group has a strong management team focused on innovation, and the operations are driven forward by pursuing growth, operational improvements and continued establishment of the Synsam culture throughout the organisation. Synsam focuses on maintaining its leading position in Sweden while also strengthening its position in Norway, Denmark and Finland through new establishments and store development. Combined with a sustainable organisational strategy, together with an all-around enthusiasm for innovation, Synsam aims to maintain and improve its already-high levels of customer satisfaction and promote long-term growth.
Synsam currently offers ten strong and independent House Brands to attract new customers and respond to new challenges within the sustainable production of consumer goods. Altogether, Synsam’s lifestyle offering will safeguard the customer experience and Synsam’s strong brand awareness as well as the Group’s opportunities to grow – today and tomorrow.