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GfK Asia Expands into Regional Optics Industry Following Partnership with Singapore Opticianry Practitioners (SOP)
Date:9/10/2009

SINGAPORE, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- GfK Singapore and the Singapore Opticianry Practitioners (SOP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, paving the way for a better understanding of the rapidly changing optical retail market in Singapore.

Through GfK's comprehensive research program and sophisticated tracking services, the SOP, which was established in 2006, will be equipped with the latest optical market trends, paving a significant move forward in providing the products and services needed to expand the optical industry in Singapore. As an Optometrists and Opticians Board (OOB) accredited Continuing Professional Education (CPE) provider, SOP has been actively collaborating with educational institutes as well as health authorities in conducting courses and seminars for opticians. Through this latest venture with GfK Singapore, SOP aims to further its high standards of ethical conduct.

According to the President of SOP, Mr. Steve Lim while providing opportunities to its members and advocating Corporate Social Responsibility through regular eye screening for members of the public remains a priority, but the industry must also learn to survive in a changing market landscape.

"Optical practitioners are currently facing challenges understanding the changing consumer buying behaviour and competing with new entrants to the market and the rapid expansion of large chain stores. This collaboration with GfK Singapore is a timely move as we need to have a better view of our industry. This is now possible with GfK's reliable tracking capabilities and the very latest data on the Singapore optics market. Apart from providing the best products and services required, this partnership is crucial in allowing us to plan our business models to accommodate today's sophisticated consumer market," said Mr Lim.

GfK Asia Regional Commercial Director, Mr. Stanley Kee, said with the current upbeat performance in the Singapore economy, members of the SOP association will benefit from information that highlights the gaps in the current optics market.

"This MOU will enable SOP to provide their members with information from a business centric perspective. More importantly, both SOP and GfK will set a platform of co-operation, supporting each other in mutually beneficial programs including seminars. Globally, GfK has been monitoring the optical products marketplace since 1995 and supports the industry in numerous ways and this latest partnership with SOP affirms GfK's dedication to the industry," said Mr Kee.

This latest partnership will add and build on existing partnerships GfK Asia established in other Asian markets, including Korea, Malaysia and China, where the company has set up partnerships with KOA -- Korea Optical Association, MAPO -- Malaysia Association of Practicing Opticians, SOOA -- Shanghai Optometric and Optical Association, respectively.

For more information on SOP please refer to the following web address http://www.sop-association.sg/

About GfK Asia Pte Ltd

GfK Asia Pte Ltd (GfK Asia), part of the global GfK Group, is a leading research company with over 20 years experience in providing reliable Asian retail and technology market data. Our analysts track a broad range of consumer technology markets, including: consumer electronics, telecommunications, IT, household electrical appliances (large and small), optics, entertainment, gaming as well as digital imaging. GfK Asia covers more than 55 product groups and over 350,000 models, collecting monthly data from over 6,000 specialist / independent shops as well as over 170 organized retailers with approximately 15,000 outlets. This disciplined methodology, together with tight field operational control in every country, allows GfK Asia to produce high quality reports containing reliable information that our clients can use with confidence.

Based in Singapore, with other offices in India and Japan, GfK Asia offers extensive coverage of the following countries: China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Australia. For further information please visit our website: http://www.gfkrt.com

    Editors Notes:

    -- GfK Asia currently tracks contact lens market in China (3 cities:
       Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou), Korea (5 Regions: Seoul, Inchon,
       Kyonggi, Kyongbuk, Kyongnam), Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia
    -- In November 07 GfK Group took over the optics panel from The Nielsen
       Company in Japan.
    -- In January 2009, GfK Group acquired The Nielsen Company's optics panel
       in the USA.

    Media Contact:

     Lisa Williamson
     Bryant Williamson Communications
     Tel:   +65-9100-4097
     Email: Lisa@bryantwilliamson.com

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SOURCE GfK Asia Pte Ltd
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