Günther Fielmann 101: The Visionary Behind Fielmann's Success
Zatrun Published at February 15, 2024

Günther Fielmann, born on September 17, 1939, into the family of Dr. Wilhelm and Marie-Louise Fielmann, had his eyes set on an entirely different career path during his formative years. Initially aspiring to become a photographer, he was set on a different course by his father’s insistence. In 1956, young Fielmann embarked on an apprenticeship as an optometrist, a decision that would eventually shape the course of his life. After years of dedication and hard work, he achieved the status of a diplomated optometrist and an optometrist master by 1965.

Günther Fielmann: The Spectacle Market Revolution

The year 1972 marked a significant turning point in Günther Fielmann’s life and career. It was the year he inaugurated his first eyewear shop in Cuxhaven, Germany. Yet, it was in 1981 that he truly revolutionized the German spectacle market. Fielmann boldly introduced a selection of 90 fashionable frames available under the allowance of the statutory health insurance funds.

This was a game-changer, as, before this move, only six models were accessible within the constraints of insurance allowances. Fielmann’s innovative approach not only enhanced eyewear choices for individuals but also removed the social stigma attached to wearing glasses.

This monumental leap, coupled with favorable media coverage, earned him the endearing moniker, the “Robin Hood of spectacle wearers.” Aggressive marketing strategies further propelled his business into rapid growth.

The overwhelming success led to the opening of a new shop in Kiel in 1982, offering an extensive collection of over 7,000 frames. In 1994, to accommodate the growing business, Fielmann transformed Fielmann KG into a public joint-stock company, Fielmann AG, and ventured into the world of public trading.

Educational Advancements and Personal Initiatives

Fielmann’s commitment to education and his optometry business was demonstrated in the extensive renovations of Plön Castle, which he purchased from the state of Schleswig-Holstein in 2002. Since 2003, the castle has served as a training ground for his optometrists. Additionally, from 2005 onwards, Fielmann initiated the offering of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in optometry through a partnership with the University of Applied Sciences Lübeck.

Günther Fielmann’s personal life has been noteworthy as well. In 1988, he married Heike Fielmann, nearly thirty years his junior. From this union, two children were born: Marc Fielmann, who now holds the position of CEO at Fielmann, and Sophie-Louise Fielmann.

Green Initiatives and Organic Farming

Günther Fielmann’s commitment to the environment and sustainability extends to the simple yet impactful act of planting a tree for each of his employees every year. In May 2009, a remarkable milestone was achieved as he planted the one-millionth tree, a testament to his dedication to environmental causes.

Beyond his business acumen and environmental efforts, Fielmann is an enthusiastic organic farmer. He owns multiple estates, including the 1,600-hectare Schierensee manor, the 470-hectare Marutendorf manor in Achterwehr, the 180-hectare farm Möglin in Krummwisch, and another farm in Lütjensee. These farms produce organic products that are marketed under the brand Hof Lütjensee.

Accolades and Recognitions

Günther Fielmann’s remarkable contributions have garnered him numerous accolades and recognitions over the years. In 2000, he was honored with the Federal Cross of Merit First Class from the state of Schleswig-Holstein.

Two years later, in 2002, he was awarded the title of professor honoris causa by the state. The year 2003 brought him the prestigious “Deutscher Gründerpreis” (Prize for German Founders). Further recognition came in December 2004 when the agricultural and nutrition sciences department of the University of Kiel granted him an honorary doctorate. In 2011, Fielmann was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Manager Magazin, cementing his legacy as a visionary entrepreneur and a philanthropic force to be reckoned with.

Günther Fielmann’s incredible journey from a young apprentice to a renowned businessman and environmentalist has been nothing short of extraordinary. His pioneering efforts in the eyewear industry and his unwavering commitment to environmental initiatives are a testament to his vision and determination., a source of profound analysis and insight, has meticulously explored the life and career of Günther Fielmann, shedding light on the remarkable path that has led him to remarkable success.

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