Interview of the Month
October 10, 2018

\\ Morel Sunglasses: KOALI model 20038 K // Koali Collection

Francis, Jerome and Amelie Morel

Producing eyewear in France since 1880, Morel combines a rich past with a sophisticated strategy for on-going international growth.

20/20 Europe spoke with the Morel family ahead of the SILMO fair.

Q: Morel has a new direction that the company will announce at SILMO. Please share your new focus for 2019 and beyond.

A: First of all, it’s important to remember that Morel has been an expert in the production of true optical designs since 1880. 
An independent company, Morel has always kept product at the heart of its strategy and its offer is segmented in complementary, rich and creative collections.
Design and quality move Morel forward and beyond timelessness. In the market today, Morel wants to be the definitive reference for French eyewear, competing at a higher level, and growing its development in the global market and its artistic direction regarding the products and brand image.

“Morel wants to be the definitive reference for French eyewear…”

Q: What elements of this will we see at the Paris fair?

A: Morel is more than just a company name: our business embodies several values, such as know-how, creativity and dynamism. With this in mind, we have focused on redesigning the corporate communication strategy to create a consistent new visual language that fits with Morel’s values and ambition.
Our new corporate campaign, based on circles that suggest movement, energy and power, will catch attention and inspire emotions. Through this campaign, we wanted to communicate the diversity of our collections and the stories beneath each brand.
Last but not least, we worked on a trendy and attractive brand image that will have appeal for the end consumer as well as the opticians.

Q: What changes have been made to achieve a direct distribution and can you give details?

A: Our strategic plan for growth includes changes for our distribution model in important markets. Starting with these, we will shift from using the classic local distributor to building joint venture subsidiaries.
We have already installed a new generation, faster, more efficient ERP system and we have restructured the customer support team. We have new procedures to deliver better and faster results.
A big change is also the renewal of our image. We have built marketing tools focusing on sales training, promotion and communication. We will now focus on building a strong communication basis between our sales, marketing and operation teams, as well as between our company and our partners.
Through our local partners, especially with direct distribution, we are closer to the final consumer; we have adjusted our “total offer” according to their needs. In parallel we are investing in people and teambuilding, as employee and customer satisfaction is key for a long-lasting relationship. Employees and partners are, after all, a part of the Morel family.

\\ Oga Collection

Q: Morel remains a leader in the production of authentic French products from the Jura. How does this affect the company today and going forward and has the desirability of French-made products changed in recent years?

A: Since 1880, Morel has been the embodiment of eyewear know-how in France. This is a remarkable achievement for our independent, passionate family eyewear company. Over the years we have learnt to develop and reinvent ourselves, and to amaze the world by creating cutting edge, innovative designs. The French expertise of Morel is appreciated around the world.

Q: Does France remain your key European market or are you seeing particular expansion in other territories overseas?

A: France is our home market and it will always remain a key market for us. The French market has always supported Morel and we appreciate this trust and respect, through four generations.
Nevertheless, Morel is a company that operates internationally, with direct sales, subsidiaries and big distributors. There are markets where we have significant share and markets where we have huge potential. We see ourselves as a global player and our growth plan is based on the development of our worldwide business. Our goal is to focus on each individual market, improve our unique product mix and reach the positioning we deserve. Right now, export market represents 75% of Morel’s total sales.

Q: What are you launching at the Paris fair in terms of new collections?

A: Twice a year, we show brand new concepts in all our collections. Some are extension of existing product groups, but the majority are fresh ideas and new materials, exploring the crossover of modern and vintage. Every collection has its own unique approach.

\\ Marius Morel 1880 Collection

Q: Highlight the new lines giving details of the specific releases and trends/materials/details we can expect to find.

A: Our new collection KOALI SUN uses fashion nylon lenses as elements of the frame, mixed with stainless steel, for a special impact. One of the new OGA concepts is made of genuine leather laminated with rubber. This natural/technical approach is the DNA of the OGA collection. In the LIGHTEC collection we have explored the possibility of 3D printing associated with beta titanium, with an outcome that is “as light as air”! The MARIUS MOREL 1880 sunglass collection features modern versions of Morel’s historic and iconic styles. These authentic products are equipped with high-quality Barberini lenses.

Q: And your primary goal for 2019?

A: Our goal is to propose more and more creative products, but not just that: quality and service are also very important for us. We will also control our distribution to be closer to our partners, serving them in the very best way possible.

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