1.1 Definition and presentation
Eyewear market includes items and accessories worn on or over the eyes. Eyewear is worn for a number of reasons, among the most common, one can find usage as a fashion adornment, for lack of visual abilities or for protection.
The three biggest categories of the eyewear industry indeed are:
- Contact lenses
The industry therefore includes all actors and processes involved in the design, production and retail of eyewear. At a worldwide level, promising projections towards the growth of the market are expected. The ageing population and consequently development of life expectancy around the world is one of the responsible variables for the positive forecast of a growing number of people needing spectacles. In developed countries, the estimates grow even farther, with around 70% of adults in need of corrective lenses. The latter is reinforced by the rise in disposable income, which is expected to continue to push premiumization of the eyewear industry in all segments, especially among non-corrective glasses. The Italian market in the specific is expected to be influenced in addition by the changes in demographics, the channel proliferation (e.g. GDOs, internet), emerging fashion trends. [Safilo].
1.2 The global market
In **** the global eyewear market was worth ***.* billion dollars. It is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (***) of *.*% and reach a value of ***.* billion dollars by ****.
Global eyewear market World, ****-****, in billions of dollars Source: ****
The biggest driver of this market will be the spectacles and lenses ...
1.3 The Italian market
Since **** the Italian eyewear market has been steadily growing in terms of production value. It was valued at *.** billion euros in ****, and in * years it grew by over a billion, reaching a peak value of *.** billion in ****. The years which experienced the most growth were **** and ****, respectively.
Production value and evolution ...
1.4 Imports & exports
As mentioned above, the growth of the Italian eyewear production is largely driven by exports. Italy is a net exporter of eyewear products and is in fact the global leader in terms of sunglasses exports (***) [***].
Market share of sunglass exports, by country World, ****, in % Source: ****
Italy exports between two and three ...
1.5 Impact of COVID-19
As with may other markets and industries, the COVID-** pandemic did not spare the eyewear market. With extended lockdowns, people did not have the ability to consult their doctors to see if they needed eyewear products for medical reasons, and being stuck at home they did not have a reason or ...
2.1 Demand overview
The eyewear industry counts numerous sub-segments, a relevant distinction within the scope of the demand analysis is based on the purpose of the eyewear:
Non-corrective use (***) Corrective use (***)
Corrective eyewear made up over four fifths of the Italian eye-wear market in ****, accounting for *.* billion euros of retail sales value, with ophthalmic ...
2.2 Determinants of demand
Visual defects population
Specifically, within the eyeglasses sub segment, undoubtedly the number of Italians with optical deficiencies is a determining variable.
In **** the number of individuals with visual defects amounted to **% of the overall population, which corresponds to around ** million people. The figure is promising and considerable as **% of ...
2.3 Cyclical demand
The graph below represents the proportion of searches for a given term in a given region during a specified amount of time, compared to when it was the most searched (***).
Thus, a value of ** means that the keyword has been used less often in the region concerned, and a value of ...
3.1 Organization and dynamics of the market
The Italian eyewear market is quite concentrated, with few giants conquering the biggest shares of the market, the industry is saturated both in terms of production and distribution. In total the number of companies in the industries counted almost ** players in ****, demonstrating a stagnation in terms of number of actors on ...
3.2 Made-in-Italy conquers eyewear industry
Geographically, the production is heavily concentrated; **% of the manufacturing takes place in Veneto, which not surprisingly represents the headquarters of some of the biggest Italian eyewear multinationals [***].
The high-end production of eyewear lays essentially in the hand of five actors, four of which are Italian. The organizational model revolves around patents; ...
3.3 Distribution dynamics
Traditional channel dominance
In **** distribution within the eyewear industry as a whole is dominated by a single channel: optical shops. Traditional optical stores are through losing some shares in the non-corrective eyewear but are still in command in the corrective segment. The graph below provides an overview of the distribution of ...
3.4 Main players
The biggest actors in the market are both domestic and international businesses, which combined made up more than half of the eyewear market in ****:
Market share of the eyewear market, by company Italy, ****, in % Source: ****
In **** Luxottica and Essilor merged into one company “LuxotticaEssilor” which currently represents the global leading player ...
4.1 Sales and volume within the different offerings
Segmentation by category identifies three large sectors within the eyewear industry:
Spectacles (***) Sunglasses Contact lenses
Sales value of eyewear, by category Italy, ****, in millions of euros Source: ****
In **** sales for eye care products amounted to circa *.* billion euros, spectacles dominating the market share with **% of the sales. In the spectacles ...
4.2 A great pricing gap
To each their own
Pricing differs greatly within the different product categories of the eyewear industry. Undoubtedly products whose functional and conceptual meaning is intendent to last longer have higher prices than products whose usage is limited. The biggest gap is experienced between frames and contact lenses. In Italy in **** and ...
4.3 Possible threats to the established hierarchy
A number of social, demographic and economic factors are said to be able to influence the market dynamics both globally and nationally. Most of the aforementioned variables are though believed to strengthen the eyewear industry (***), although a set of potential threats are developing which could indeed have an impact as well ...
4.4 Supply trends
A trend impacting both corrective and non-corrective eyewear is the progressive impact personalization has on consumer buying patterns. According to a study conducted by Deloitte one of out of three consumers base their shopping on the ability to personalize a product, the trend is impacting all industries, and it interests ...
5.1 Regulation on sale of all eyewear product categories
Due to the particular nature of the product categories, all eyewear whether worn for corrective purposes or non-corrective purposes is subject to specific and strict regulation at a national and international level.
In Italy the distinction is among:
- Medical devices (***) which include frames and ophthalmic lenses.
Commercial sales are regulated ...
5.2 Medical benefits
Fiscal benefits are possible both for the product categories and for the medical visits. According to Agenzia delle Entrate – Italian tax agency – the purchase of corrective frames or/and contact lenses can be deductible. The expenditure falls into the bigger category of “purchase or rental of medical devices”, which is deductible ...
6.1 Market segmentation
- Luxottica (Groupe Essilor Luxottica)
- Safilo Group
- Oftalmica Galileo
- De Rigo
- Essilor International (groupe Essilor Luxottica)
- Kering (Holding)
- Marchon France
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