Summary of our market study

The global eyewear market, which includes eyeglasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses, has experienced significant growth, driven by factors such as an aging population, fashion trends, and rising disposable income. It starts from a value of $184.3 billion in 2023 and is expected to increase to $326.3 billion in 2030. This represents a 77 percent increase over eight years, with an annual growth rate of 8.5 percent, . In 2022, Europe will lead the market with 37 percent of global sales, followed by North America with a 33.8 percent share. The Italian eyewear market has also experienced robust growth, with domestic optical market output increasing by 24 percent to 5.17 billion euros in 2022.[MIDO]

The Italian eyewear market: recent demand dynamics

In recent years, the Italian eyewear market has shown a slight growth trajectory, with an increase of about 3 percent between 2018 and 2022, attributed to a number of trends and demographic factors influencing consumer demand. The market is divided into noncorrective and corrective eyewear. Corrective eyewear accounts for a significant portion of the market, with nearly three-fifths of the total value.

One of the main demographic factors influencing this demand is the country's agingpopulation, where people over the age of 60 account for nearly a quarter of the total. As age-related vision problems become more prevalent, this segment is expected to drive future spending on eyewear. Another factor driving demand is the growing number of people with vision problems-about 15 million Italians-including children and young adults, where lifestyle changes have contributed to increased myopia. This trend is linked to prolonged exposure to electronic devices.[ISTAT]

Regular eye examinations play a crucial role in maintaining eye health, with about 60 percent of the population having regular checkups. [IAPB]

There is a growing awareness of superior quality and luxury accessories, particularly among millennials, leading to a trend known as"premiumisation" in the industry.

Some of the key players analyzed:

  • The Luxottica Group: a pillar of the global eyewear industry, with prestigious brands such as Ray-Ban and Oakley in its portfolio. Luxottica is famous not only for its iconic models, but also for its extensive retail network, which includes the famous Sunglass Hut chain.
  • Safilo Group: Safilo Group offers the market a diverse range of high-end products and is known for its collaborations with fashion titans such as Dior and Jimmy Choo to produce licensed eyewear that embodies luxury and style.
  • Marcolin S.p.A.: specializes in creating stylish and fashionable frames for a variety of high-end brands. The company secures a strong market position through strategic partnerships with brands and a keen eye for evolving fashion trends.
  • De Rigo: De Rigo, which is both a design house and a distributor. It distributes famous brands such as Police, Lozza and Escada.
  • Essilor: beyond the Italian borders, we find Essilor, a company that merged with Luxottica but deserves a separate mention as a world leader in lens production.
  • GrandVision: the GrandVision chain of stores operates numerous outlets around the world, offering a wide selection of products ranging from entry-level to high-end eyewear.
  • Vega Optic and Salvatore Piazza: Vega Optic and Salvatore Piazza, well-known names among local opticians, represent the specialized distribution channel.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market summary

1.1 Definition and presentation

The eyewear market includes items and accessories worn on or over the eyes. Eyeglasses are worn for a variety of reasons, the most common of which include use as fashion adornment, for lack of visual ability, or for protection.

The three largest categories in the eyewear industry are in fact:

  • Glasses
  • Sunglasses
  • Contact lenses

The industry thus encompasses all the players and processes involved in the design, production, and retailing of eyewear. Globally, there are promising projections for market growth. The aging population and the consequent development of life expectancy worldwide is one of the variables responsible for the positive forecast of increasing numbers of people needing eyewear. In developed countries, estimates are growing even more, with about 70 percent of adults needing corrective lenses. The latter figure is reinforced by rising disposable income, which should continue to drive premiumization of the eyewear industry in all segments, especially among noncorrective eyewear. The Italian market specifically should also be influenced by demographic changes, channel proliferation (e.g., GDO, internet), and emerging fashion trends.[Safilo].

1.2 The global market

The global eyewear market is growing significantly due to the presence of various factors, including: evolving fashion trends, increasing consumer awareness of eye health, and the adoption of luxury accessories, particularly among millennials. The global eyewear market was valued at US$***.* billion in **** and is expected to reach US$***.* billion in ...

1.3 The Italian market

The **** industry pre-consensus, presented at the MIDO trade show, attests to an Italian optical market production of *.** billion euros, registering a ** percent growth over ****. The total balance of Italian manufacturers includes *** companies employing **,*** people.

Since more recent data regarding the local optical market is not available, the value of the domestic ...

1.4 Imports and exports

Foreign trade is characterized by a preponderance of exports over imports. This results in overall market welfare, which has declined slightly in **** (***). Specifically, it is noted that the growth from **** to **** of exports is ** percent; taking into consideration the same time range, it is evident how the value of imports remained ...

1.5 Impact of COVID-19

In **** , there were signs of a slowdown in global exports , as well as the attestation of a worrisome employment situation, portending a possible contraction related to the performance of some specific companies. With the release of Covid-**, the eyewear sector loses its main international trade show, MIDO, which is postponed for ...

1.6 The Russian-Ukrainian conflict

The Russian-Ukrainian conflict has suddenly changed the global economic outlook, which was already greatly shaken by uncertainty related to new variants of the Covid-** virus. While the global economy is unabated in its search for a new equilibrium after two years of the pandemic, the attack is bringing the two states ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Overview of demand

The eyewear industry has numerous sub-segments, a relevant distinction in demand analysis is based on the purpose of eyewear:

Non-corrective use (***) Correctiveuse (***)

Corrective eyewear (***) made up more than four-fifths of the Italian market. However, sunglasses constituted the second largest independent segment. The breakdown of sales by product type is shown below; ...

2.2 Determinants of demand

Corrective eyeglasses

Population and visual defects

Specifically, within the glasses sub-segment, undoubtedly the number of Italians with optical deficiencies is a determining variable. There are about ** million myopic people in Italy, and the problem is sharply increasing, registering the highest number of cases among the very young, where more than * out ...

2.3 Cyclic question: sunglasses

The graph represents the proportion of searches for a given term in a given region during a given time period, compared to when it was searched for the most (***).

Thus, a value of ** means that the keyword was used less often in the region concerned, and a value of * means that ...

2.4 Geographical distribution of demand

As for the distribution of the expenditure item for optical items, it can be seen that the highest value is in the North, followed by the Center and the South.

3 Market structure

3.1 Market organization and dynamics

The Italian eyewear market is the flagship for the domestic economic sector, for reasons that can be traced back to the historical past and the industrial present. Half of the licensed manufacturers are in Italy, thus covering ** percent of the world license production and ** percent of the world market.[***]

The number ...

3.2 Value Chain

The value chain of the analyzed market takes in various players, from the production of materials to the sale of finished products.

Material suppliers: this first stage involves companies that produce primary materials for optical lens production, such as glass, plastic, and anti-reflective coatings. Lens production: lenses are manufactured using the ...

3.3 Distribution channels

Before getting into the details of how the product is distributed, it is essential to note that there is a distinction between the distribution of prescription eyeglasses and that of sunglasses; in fact, the latter are perceived as a fashion product and therefore require less specialized assistance at the time of ...

3.4 Made-in-Italy conquers the eyewear industry

Both the global and domestic markets are governed by an oligopoly in two specific product categories: lenses and frames. Essilor dominates contact lens production with a ** percent market share globally, while Luxottica owns ** percent of the global optical frames market[***].

The production of high-end eyewear is essentially in the hands of ...

3.5 The industry giant: EssilorLuxottica


Luxottica is a giant in the eyewear industry, with a dominant position that looks set to last for the foreseeable future; despite a generally positive picture, the **** market closed with a *.** percent decline . This is driven by the slowdown in the fourth quarter, with revenues, however, up *.*% thanks to good ...

4 Supply analysis

4.1 The offer


Category segmentation identifies three major sectors within the eyewear industry:

Eyewear (***) Sunglasses Contact lenses

Sales value of the eyewear market, by category Italy, ****, in % ANFAO

Sunglasses classification

Analyzing the sunglasses segment, it is possible to define the different characteristics of the product, dividing it into various categories:

Category *: These lenses ...

4.2 Prices

The average price of eyewear, over the past decade, has been particularly fluctuating. Forecasts, until ****, estimate a steady increase in the average price, until it reaches €**.**, always lower than the peak reached in **** when the average price was €**.**. Prices are very different within the different product categories of the eyewear industry. ...

4.3 Supply trends

Current trends are making the coming eyewear season characterized by conscious innovation, the search for sustainable beauty, modern vintage and visionary minimalism. Details, colors, materials and shapes, the eyewear of the **** season will be revolutionary. The trends in the offering are divided into three basic macro trends:

Design-Wise: products made with ...

5 Rules and regulations

5.1 Regulations on the sale of all categories of eyeglass products

Because of the special nature of the product categories, all eyewear, whether worn for corrective or noncorrective purposes, is subject to specific and strict regulation at the national and international levels.

In Italy the distinction is between:

*Medical devices, which include frames and ophthalmic lenses.

Commercial sale is regulated by ...

5.2 Bonus View

Since April **, ****, the web platform to apply for the sight bonus, which provides a financial contribution for the purchase of prescription eyeglasses and corrective contact lenses, has been activated. The subsidy was introduced by Law No. *** of December **, ****, and is disbursed for those who meet the requirements established in the Decree ...

6 Positioning of actors

6.1 Market segmentation

  • Safilo Group
  • Oftalmica Galileo
  • De Rigo
  • Carl Zeiss Group
  • Essilor Luxottica groupe
  • Marcolin (LVMH Groupe)
  • Kering Eyewear

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Global eyewear market evolution
  • Climate change: actions and perceptions
  • Italian Eyewear Production Value
  • Imports, exports and coverage rate: optics market
  • Main countries of origin of eyewear imports
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Latest news

BBGR boosts Seine-et-Marne capacity by 30% to keep pace with growth in Nikon optical lenses - 30/03/2024
  • - BBGR is a subsidiary of EssilorLuxottica.
  • - The company has specialized in optical lenses for over 170 years.
  • - BBGR will increase capacity at its Provins site by 30% from April.
  • - The Provins site employs 235 people.
  • - The aim of this capacity increase is to meet strong demand for Nikon lenses, produced at Provins since 2016.
  • - Since 2016, volumes of Nikon lenses manufactured at Provins have increased 15-fold.
EssilorLuxottica passes the €25 billion sales mark - 15/02/2024
  • In 2023, the company spent 1.7 billion euros on R&D between 2020 and 2022, in particular to develop connected and/or hearing glasses. Before the summer, the company will inaugurate an optics laboratory (300 employees) in Wissous (Essonne). In the second half of 2024, its first hearing glasses will be marketed in the United States.
  • The product potentially concerns the 1.25 billion people affected by mild hearing loss.
  • To integrate a miniature hearing aid into a pair of glasses, the company acquired the Israeli start-up Nuance in 2022.
  • Its brand portfolio has expanded to include Moncler, Jimmy Choo, Brunello Cucinelli and Ferrari licenses.
  • 18,000 directly-operated stores in 150 countries, including 1,000 in France.
EssilorLuxottica integrates a hearing aid into its glasses - 09/01/2024
  • Launch of "Nuance" glasses that act as hearing aids.
  • Microphones camouflaged in the frames enable the wearer to concentrate on and amplify the voice of the person speaking
  • First equipment with virtually invisible hearing aids
  • While 1.6 billion people worldwide suffer from hearing loss, this figure is expected to rise to 2.5 billion by 2050
  • Nuance Audio glasses, which will be available in three models, will be sold by hearing aid practitioners, in EssilorLuxottica's distribution network (18,000 stores) and on the Internet.
  • Acquisition of Israel-based Nuance Hearing, which has developed a small tabletop device that amplifies sound
In the heart of the Meuse region, Essilor breaks records to produce special ophthalmic lenses - 11/08/2023
  • Essilor's SL Lab site merged in 2018 with Italian eyewear manufacturer Luxottica.
  • It employs 81 people in the special lenses production unit.
  • Each year, they produce around 80,000 ophthalmic lenses, half of which are shipped for export.
  • In France, around 1 in 1000 people suffer from extreme visual defects such as myopia or hyperopia.
  • It takes three years of compulsory training for employees to become autonomous.
  • Since the unit was set up in 2014, 300,000 special lenses have been produced.
Optics: EssilorLuxottica accumulates records - 23/02/2023
  • Optical giant's sales to grow by 13.9% in 2022
  • North America, its leading market, grew by 4% at constant exchange rates, to almost 11.5 billion euros.
  • European momentum is even stronger: +11.2% to 8.7 billion euros
  • Asia remains solid
Zeiss invests 33 million euros in the extension of its Périgny plant - 03/02/2023
  • 33 million euro investment to extend Zeiss Périgny plant
  • 14,000 m2 building under construction
  • First extension in 2020: 8 million euros
  • 2,000 m2 of office space in the new building
  • Extension will create over 300 jobs
  • Work to start in January 2023
  • Handover scheduled for January 2025

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Safilo Group
Oftalmica Galileo
De Rigo
Carl Zeiss Group
Essilor Luxottica groupe
Marcolin (LVMH Groupe)
Kering Eyewear

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