Coming from a small island in Croatia to a big European town like Munich, one of the main concerns of course was cost. Munich is SO expenive was something I heard from almost everybody before coming here, and the prices of things like accommodation do crop up in many conversations here. I have been fortunate initially to not have to worry about accommodation, thanks to the generosity of friends, and although Munich CAN be very expensive, there are some bargains to be had...
Bargains such as the Fielmann experience.
Given that I spend a large amount of my life looking at a laptop screen a few centimetres away, coupled with the fact that I am of a certain age, the time had come to admit that I needed to dedicated glasses for the blogging task in hand. Having made an appointment (2 week wait) in Croatia, I had my prescription, but the initial prices of what for me was a purely functional item (the only person looking at me while I blog is my trusty laptop, which has as much appreciation of style as I do), the new glasses remained on my 'to do' list as I left for Munich.
"You should try Fielmann, they are amazing. Great service and guarantees, and incredible prices," suggested a friend over a cold one the other night.
Going to an optician in Munich, now THAT would be expensive, but he urged me to check it out, and as I chanced upon the Fielmann store between Tal and Marienplatz the following day, I thought I would at least enquire.
Without an appointment, I was asked to wait at one desk, as several others were doing as well. Within two minutes, a staff member was politely putting up with my pained attempts to express myself in German, I had explained I was on a very strict budget, something I stuck with throughout the conversation, partly because I was interested to see what her sales technique would be.
Within five minutes, I had been treated to a complimentary eye test, then presented with a range of frames. The lenses would cost 15 euro, or 7.50 each, and prices for the frames started at free of charge? Hang on, did I understand correctly - an eye test AND glasses for 15 euro???
The sales lady was extrememly good and offered me a range of glasses, prices and insurances. The frames for 29.50 were elegant, and I would probably have bought them but I was fixed on the idea of this 15 euro bargain in the heart of the Munich centre. Realising that there was no chance of upgrading this British skinflint, the sales lady was extremely professional and efficient, and the payment was processed, with the glasses to be ready in ten days. Total time from start to finish in the store - just 20 minutes.
And having had the experience, I know I will return to replace my main glasses (with a higher budget...).
A little research on the Fielmann experience shows that it is quite a phenomenon, with outlets all over the country after an aggressive expansion campaign, with plans to have a store for every 100,000 inhabitants in Germany. If my experience was anything to go by, no wonder they are proving so popular. Check out the official site here to find your nearest store.