Summary of our market study

The global eyewear market is expected to grow from $184.3 billion in 2023 to $326.3 billion by 2030, representing a 77 percent increase and an annual growth rate of 8.5 percent.

Eyewear production in Italy reflected this recovery, growing from €4.00 billion in 2019 to €5.52 billion in 2023, despite a 22.75% decline in 2020.

Exports saw a 31 percent growth from $2.9 billion in 2018 to $3.8 billion in 2023. There is also significant growth in imports from China, accounting for 42 percent of total imports.

Italian market trends

The market, valued at €5.52 billion, shows a 38 percent increase between 2019 and 2023.

Italian consumers have shown awareness of and interest in eye health, as reflected in the widespread use of eyeglasses and contact lenses, with nearly 60 percent performing regular eye exams. Technology plays a significant role in the increase in visual defects, as many people, between 15 and 20 million, face problems such as myopia due to prolonged exposure to electronic devices.

Factors such as the aging population, where those over 60 account for about 24.1 percent, are expected to push demand further. In addition, the trend toward "premiumization," the search for superior and unique products, could fuel the luxury eyewear segment. Italy is known to be a powerhouse in the international eyewear market, accounting for about half of the world's licensed production.

Online search interest in different types of eyewear shows intriguing variation throughout the year and across regions in Italy. Sunglasses see a spike in interest during the summer, while prescription eyewear sees an increase in searches during the winter months. Southern regions show a higher propensity for online searches for eyewear.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market Overview

1.1 Definition and presentation

The eyewear e-commerce market refers to the online sale of eyewear, sunglasses, and other related accessories through digital platforms. This sector includes resale of eyewear through retailer websites, consumer-oriented brands, fashion e-commerce, and global marketplaces. Online eyewear sales have soared over the past decade, thanks to technological advances and growing consumer confidence in online shopping.

The global eyewear market shows a clear trend of continued growth from 2023 to 2030. Starting from a value of $184.3 billion in 2023, it is expected to grow to $326.3 billion by 2030. This represents a 77 percent increase over eight years, with a CAGR of 8.5 percent. E-commerce offers greater convenience than physical stores, allowing consumers to purchase eyewear from home, compare prices and models easily, and take advantage of online discounts and promotions. These websites often offer virtual trial tools and online prescription services, further enhancing the shopping experience.

There are about 15 million myopic people in Italy, and the issue is on the rise, registering the highest number of cases among the very young, where more than 2 out of 10 children, as early as age 15, are affected. The main cause can be found in the many hours spent in front of electronic devices.

The production value of Italian eyewear showed a substantial growth trend between 2019 and 2023, with an increase of 38%.

The Italian sector has an important weight in the market, in fact, half of the largest licensed manufacturers are located in Italy, thus covering 50 percent of the world license production and 25 percent of the world market. The Italian eyewear market is characterized by a strong tendency to export, and about 90% of production is destined for foreign markets.

1.2 The global market

The global eyewear market is growing significantly due to the presence of various factors, including: evolving fashion trends, increased consumer awareness of eye health, and the adoption of luxury accessories, particularly among millennials.

Global eyewear market evolution World, ****-****, US$ billion Grand View Research

The global eyewear market shows a clear ...

1.3 The Italian market

The following graph shows the production value that the eyewear industry holds:

Italian Eyewear Production Value Italy, ****-****, in billion € the production value of Italian eyewear showed a substantial growth trend between **** and ****, rising from €*.** billion to €*.** billion. This represents an increase of ** percent over the period. The most significant decline ...

1.4 Imports and Exports

Foreign trade is characterized by a preponderance of exportsover imports:

Imports, exports and coverage rate: optics market Italy, ****-****, in US$ billion UNComtrade

Exports increased significantly, starting at US$*.* billion in **** and reaching US$*.* billion in ****, an overall increase of ** percent after a decline in **** to US$*.* billion. Imports showed a ...

1.5 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 (***)

Due to its strong international propensity, Italian eyewear has performed brilliantly in international markets, but inflationary tensions and uncertainty have weighed on the domestic market and margins.

The **** budget ...

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 Trends in demand for online sunglasses

Seasonal Analysis of Searches for "Sunglasses" in Italy (***): Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the graph in relation to the region and period indicated. A value of *** indicates the highest frequency of searches for the term; ** indicates half of the searches. A score of *, on the other ...

2.4 Geographical distribution of demand

Geographic distribution of online searches for sunglasses

Sardinia showing the highest interest (***). Southern regions, such as Puglia and Campania, also have very high values, indicating strong interest. Interestingly, Trentino-Alto Adige in the North also shows high interest. In contrast, regions such as Piedmont, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Umbria show the lowest ...

2.5 Geographic distribution by visual aids expenditure item

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.

2.6 New demand trends

Often it is the details that make the difference in a look, and sunglasses are proof of that: to be worn to define a look, thus taking up the style of the elegant or minimalist outfit, or to break the classic mood of a formal, serious daytime outfit. It goes beyond ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Italian market structure

The eyewear sector is a feather in Italy's cap for two reasons that can be traced back to Italy's historical past and industrial present. Half of the largest licensed manufacturers are located in Italy, thus covering ** percent of the world's licensed production and ** percent of the world market. The Italian eyewear ...

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 Italians' trends in e-commerce

In ****, online product purchases are worth about **.* billion euros, +*% compared to ****. Most of this increase is explained by inflation, the product penetration rate remains stable: the share of online consumption in total consumption is, also in ****, **% .

According to a survey conducted in October ****, **.*% of Italian digital users make, on average, at ...

3.4 Main Italian e-commerce

The data presented offer an interesting look at the popularity of keywords associated with leading Italian optical e-commerce in ****, they represent terms or phrases that describe the content of a web page, which are essential for SEO (***). They serve to improve a site's visibility in search engine results. The choice of ...

4 Supply analysis

4.1 Supply analysis

Category segmentation identifies three major sectors within the eyewear industry:

Glasses (***) Sunglasses Contact lenses

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

The graph indicates a predominance of eyeglass lenses, accounting for **.* percent of total sales. Frames rank second, with ** percent of sales, followed by sunglasses with **.* percent ...

4.2 Evolution of prices

This analysis examines the evolution of consumer price indexes for two specific product categories in Italy from **** to ****. Focusing on apparel and accessories, which also includes the production of noncorrective eyewear; and corrective eyeglasses and contact lenses, the report tracks annual changes in the indexes.

Consumer price index trends for the ...

4.3 Innovations and Start-Ups

Even in the field of sunglasses, the process of technological innovations has advanced by great strides. Meta has launched smart sunglasses in collaboration with the famous brand Ray-Ban equipped with advanced artificial intelligence to identify objects, monuments and even translate texts. This significant upgrade allows users to access the smart assistant ...

5 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

  • Essilor Luxottica groupe
  • Marcolin (LVMH Groupe)
  • Kering Eyewear
  • Safilo Group
  • De Rigo
  • Zeiss Group
  • Lamaoptical
  • Nau!
  • Demenego
  • Grandvision
  • Centro Ottico Megavision
  • SmartBuyGlasses
  • Adrialenti
  • Lentiamo

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Global eyewear market evolution
  • Italian Eyewear Production Value
  • Imports, exports and coverage rate: optics market
  • Main countries of origin of eyewear imports
  • Main destination countries of eyewear exports
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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

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. :

Essilor Luxottica groupe
Marcolin (LVMH Groupe)
Kering Eyewear
Safilo Group
De Rigo
Zeiss Group
Lamaoptical
Nau!
Demenego
Grandvision
Centro Ottico Megavision
SmartBuyGlasses

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