In ten years, Izipizi has managed to make a name for itself in the optical market. The start-up first specialized in magnifying glasses (or “reading”), which still constitute the majority of its sales (49%), before diversifying into sunglasses (44%) for adults and children in 2016, and more recently mountain goggles and ski goggles. For this anniversary, it has just moved into a renovated building in the heart of Paris with its hundred employees: 5 levels to continue growing.
For five years, the young brand has recorded growth of 30% per year. It does not communicate its turnover. But indicates to hold 19% of market share in France, and to realize 81% of the activity in export. ” We have been profitable from the start », Insists Quentin Couturier, one of the founders, with Charles Brun and Xavier Aguera. ” Our development took place without fundraising, he says, thanks to the support of two business angels, Jean-Pierre Richard and Jacques Guillemet “.
Its success is linked to trendy models, with bright colors. While until then, magnifying glasses took up the codes of the medical world. Not enough to cheer up the baby boomers, who have become presbyopic but also fashionable. Carla Bruni, Brigitte Macron or Marc Lavoine are clients. Another strong argument is its prices: 30 euros for reading glasses and 35 euros for sunglasses. They go up to 80 euros for the masks.
The founders were inspired by their mothers who could no longer read a menu. They are first launching self-service glasses, like the pens attached to their chains. “Individuals also wanted to buy some to put at home, because they always lost their glasses,” recalls Quentin Couturier.
In 2013, the three friends decided to create a range of “reading”, with the target of those over 40, ” with sexier models “. The concept appeals Colette, the famous trend-setting store in Paris. ” In a week we sold everything Quentin recalls. Presented at the same time, at the home and object show, the products appeal to foreign distributors. This is the beginning of the adventure. ” It is from there that we decided to make glasses for the whole family, for all moments of life, with great prices. », Summarizes the leader.
A lever: children
Ten years later, Izipizi is distributed in 70 countries, including 80% in the United States and Europe, and the rest in Asia. These 1,200 references are present in 6,400 points of sale, opticians, department stores (Bon Marché, BHV) but also fashion boutiques and museums such as Moma. In France, it is among independent opticians like Marc Le Bihan that Izipizi has found its place, with its affordable prices, alongside models from sharp designers.
Its network also has 10 stores (France, England, Belgium, China) and an e-commerce site (between them 20% of sales). A site that allowed him to cushion the shock of the pandemic. ” Our online sales jumped 50% during confinement, which will allow stable sales in 2020 », Notes Quentin. The duo had the ambition to open 6 to 8 new stores, but this objective was pushed back to the world “after”.
Among its other projects, the start-up wants to continue to capitalize in particular on children. A lever in recent years (20% of sales). ” Parents in Paris, London or New York are looking for models with cool colors. For sunglasses, they want to be reassured about the quality of the lenses », Continues Quentin Couturier. In spring 2021, the brand will launch a range for “outdoor” sports. She is also studying the possibility of rnon-native of production in France or in Italy. Today, all of its ranges are manufactured in a factory in Taiwan.