ATOL takes expansive view of its sales outlet strategy thanks to GEOCONCEPT

In furtherance of its commercial expansion in France, ATOL chooses GEOCONCEPT, the leading designer of geographical
optimisation technologies, to develop and organise its national sales outlet network.

Established in 1970, the Association des Techniciens en Optique et Lunetterie (ATOL - Association of Optical and Eyewear Technicians) is France’s fourth largest optical products brand by turnover and France’s third ranking optician in terms of brand

With more than 800 sales outlets, the wholly cooperative brand is positioned within a very competitive market, differentiating itself by focusing on innovation built around customised frames with interchangeable arms and French manufacturing justified in terms of quality, traceability and safety. The ISO 9110 and ISO 14001-certified optical products brand guarantees consumers quality service and a commitment to environmental responsibility.

In 2013, ATOL posted turnover of €400m.

ATOL’s challenge: point of sale proximity, having customers within less than 10 minutes of each outlet

ATOL’s development strategy is based on localism and a fully national presence throughout France. Within 10 years the brand has doubled the number of its stores from 400 to 800 sales outlets. A true corporate citizen, ATOL has in the process made it possible to create and sustain 1,000 jobs in the Haut-Jura, the cradle of the eyewear industry. With a mainly provincial presence, ATOL is well established in towns with a population of less than 20,000 and needs to continue expanding to achieve its goal of a sales outlet within less than 10 minutes of every consumer and 3 clicks from every internet user as part of its digital strategy (

ATOL has been using geomarketing for more than a decade to optimise its sales network in line with customer needs. This enables it to understand how its territorial areas are developing and be more knowledgeable about their real potential.

To refine its sales outlet strategy, ATOL looked for a powerful and reliable decision support tool that would enable it to optimise local communication areas and generate analyses to highlight each sales outlet’s performance.

GEOCONCEPT’s answer: Geoconcept Sales & Marketing and the Reports for Geoconcept tool

ATOL decides to turn to GEOCONCEPT, an acknowledged player in the geomarketing market, and deploy the Geoconcept Sales & Marketing solution twinned with the Report for Geoconcept solution, a report design and generation module.

“Having tried another geographical optimisation software publisher, we were particularly impressed by the performance and flexibility of the solutions on offer from GEOCONCEPT for a market as competitive as ours. Of course, backing as we do French manufacturing and know-how, we could not ignore the fact that GEOCONCEPT is a French company”, said Nicolas Honnet, Analysis Manager at ATOL.

Thanks to the Geoconcept Sales & Marketing solution, complemented by the Reports for Geoconcept communication tool, the ATOL marketing analysis  department is able to optimise and automate local communication by running daily map-based activity reports as well as geographical analyses for the brand’s opticians.
The teams therefore have at their fingertips all the information they need on each sales outlet’s catchment area and can clearly evaluate the commercial pressure on each one in determining an exclusive territorial area. The Geoconcept solutions make it possible to rationalise development, define potential site location areas as a function of the population while avoiding cannibalisation between outlets.

Simplifying teams’ everyday routine

Beyond site location and sales sectoring strategy, ATOL also makes its opticians’ daily routine easier with its GEOCONCEPT solutions. The reporting tools enable the brand to reorganise the distribution of its sales outlets, thus enabling its mobile teams (the optician coordinators, expansion managers and optical products sales representatives) operating in a number of shops to rebalance their workload.

“In addition to adapting to various customer issues, GEOCONCEPT enables us to respond optimally to our teams’ expectations. The distance between each sales outlet is reduced, affording the opportunity to balance the workload between each mobile staff member, thereby improving productivity”, Nicolas Honnet explains.

GEOCONCEPT‘s Pascal Beauvillain says: “The issues facing ATOL fit perfectly with our geo-marketing products’ capabilities. By combining analytical accuracy and flexibility of use, the GEOCONCEPT solution has made it possible to increase the ATOL teams’ productivity significantly.

Since the Geoconcept solutions were implemented, ATOL has seen the productivity of its teams increase by between 10 and 15%. Flushed with the success of its partnership with GEOCONCEPT, ATOL has decided to develop its geomarketing strategy to increase its sales outlet network to 1,000 stores.

Download Atol testimonial (pdf)