Global eyewear market size was 2.83 million units in 2013. Rising number of visual deficiencies and growing population are expected to drive the eyewear market over the next six years. Demand for corrective lenses, such as contact lenses and spectacles, is expected to boost owing to rising awareness regarding importance of regular examinations.
Corrective contact lenses are used to a large extent in order to correct refractive errors and compensate for visual deficiencies such as myopia, hypermetropia, presbyopia, and astigmatism. As a result, growing number of visual inaccuracies is expected to drive the global industry over the forecast period. Demand for plano sunglasses is expected to remain robust over the next six years, which is expected to favorably impact contact lenses demand. However, growing acceptance towards refractive surgeries such as LASIK may hamper corrective lenses sales over the forecast period.
On account of the diversified nature of the eyewear industry, there are a number of factors that are expected to drive demand. Users have been gaining awareness regarding the importance of regular eye examinations; as a result, demand for corrective eyewear such as spectacles and contact lenses is expected to increase. In addition, growing purchasing power is estimated to positively impact the industry over the forecast period.
The market can be categorized based on product into plano sunglasses, contact lenses, and spectacles. Expected increase in the demand of sunglasses for health, lifestyle, and cosmetic purposes is also expected to drive the industry.
These products are not prescribed by medical practitioners as they do not have Rx lenses. They are primarily used to protect eyes against harmful UV rays. Growing implementation of polarization technology, particularly in high-end segment is anticipated to significantly contribute to the global demand over the forecast period. Spectacles include finished spectacle lenses as well as spectacle frames.
Frames are mainly made of materials such as zyl, nylon, metal etc. Zyl frames offer large number of color varieties and are a variant of plastic. Metal frames are not meant for high-impact activities such as outdoor and sports activities.
North America dominated the global spectacles frames industry in 2013 with approximately 189 million units sold in the region. Although the renewal rate of frames is lower than that of spectacle lenses, the average cost of a frame is much higher than that of lenses, which results in a larger revenue share. The advent of newer, lightweight, and more fashionable frames has resulted in reduction in the replacement cycle of these products.
Soft contact lenses enable more oxygen to pass through the user’s cornea with a higher degree of comfort and are used extensively for ametropia correction. Soft contact lenses offer several advantages over their RGP lens counterparts such as greater comfort and flexibility.
RGP lenses are expected to phase out owing to various benefits offered by its counterparts, which are made of materials such as silicone hydrogel. Lens materials include CR-39, polyurethane, and polycarbonate. CR-39 is used commonly for lenses; it is half the weight of glass and is shatter-resistant.
Growing awareness among the general population regarding the importance of protecting the eyes is the key driving force. Aging population and increasing incidences of ophthalmic disorders spurred by changes in lifestyle have driven market penetration. With the advent of modern healthcare and technology, there has been an increase in the share of the older population owing to increasing life expectancy rate.
Europe Eyewear Market, By Product, 2012-2020, (Million Units)
North America eyewear market was the largest regional industry in 2013, accounting for over 30% of the overall consumption. High demand for plano sunglasses and high degree of awareness regarding eye examinations are the key drivers for the North America and European markets. Buyers opting for optical coatings such as scratch-resistant, anti-reflective coating, and UV coating are expected to boost eyewear market demand in these regions.
Europe is characterized by the presence of key industry participants such as Safilo and Luxottica. Luxottica owns a significant number of in-house and licensed brands, and focuses on mergers and acquisitions as the key strategy for expansion. Additionally, the company uses vertical integration in order to drive growth. Asia Pacific eyewear market is anticipated to witness significant gains on account of rising purchasing power and increasing wearer base in the region.
Competitive Market Share Insights
Companies dominating eyewear market share include Fielmann, Bausch & Lomb, Luxottica, Safilo, CooperVision, Charmant, Marchon, and CIBA Vision. Key plano sunglasses suppliers such as Safilo and Luxottica follow vertical integration strategies and aim at developing an effective distribution network to drive profitability.
Essilor deals in the manufacturing of corrective ophthalmic lenses, and also dispenses progressive lenses, which are useful in the effective treatment of presbyopia. It has significant global presence and aims to target the mid-priced consumer for gaining competitive edge.
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