Content of the study:
The optical market - Portugal

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1.1 Definition and presentation

The optical market includes articles and accessories used at eye level. Optical products can be used as a fashion accessory, for protection or to improve the user's vision.

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

  • The glasses;
  • The sunglasses;
  • Contact lenses.

The industry therefore includes all the players and processes involved in the design, production and marketing of eyewear. On a global level, promising market growth projections are expected. The ageing of the world's population and the increase in life expectancy around the world explain the forecasts, which point to a growing number of users. In developed countries, estimates are still rising, with about 70% of adults requiring corrective lenses. In addition, rising disposable income is expected to continue to drive the high-end segments of the eyewear industry.

For the Portuguese market, growth prospects are very optimistic. Indeed, between 2014 and 2019, 265 new opticians have opened their doors in the country. However, intensifying competition has led to increased aggressiveness in terms of offers and promotions, putting some small independent players in difficulty. Many have ended up integrating large groups or franchises: the percentage of opticians belonging to large chains has risen from 60% in 2005 to 95% in 2019. [ Opticapro ]

1.2 A growing global market

Global eyewear sales increased *.**% from $***.* billion in **** to $***.* billion in ****. The market is expected to grow even faster over the next three years, reaching $***.* billion in ****

Source: ****

Despite its relative maturity, the growing demand for eyeglasses has been driven primarily by the increase in cases of myopia and presbyopia related to ...

1.3 The Portuguese market is also expanding

Since ****, the Portuguese market for optical products has experienced substantial growth, bringing its overall sales in **** to *** million euros. A positive forecast is made for the following year, with an expected growth of *.*%.

Source: ****

In addition to the fact that it is the third oldest country in the European Union in ...

1.4 Unbalanced Foreign Trade


World trade in eyewear products puts China at the top of the list of exporters (***). Portuguese eyewear exports represent only *.**% of total world exports and *.**% of total imports. In the graph below, we note that the amount of exports has recently experienced its first decline since ****, reaching US$** million in ...


2.1 Summary of the application

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

Non-corrective use (***) Corrective use (***)

The proportion of the population benefiting from the product is undoubtedly a relevant variable influencing the current and future turnover of the industry. Nevertheless, there ...

2.2 Key Demand Factors

Corrective eyewear

Visually impaired population

In the eyewear market, the number of Portuguese people with optical disabilities is undoubtedly a determining variable. In Portugal, nearly ***,*** people over ** years of age suffer from moderate to severe vision loss or blindness [***]

New demographic realities

It is believed that the correction segment of the ...

2.3 Ranking of optical retailers in Portugal

Ranking of major retailers

Department stores and other retailers selling optical products

Source: ****


3.1 Market organization and dynamics

The breakdown of the market into categories shows the importance of eyewear (***), which accounted for approximately **% of the national eyewear market in ****

Source: ****

Segmented global competition

Nevertheless, an under-segmentation of the eyewear industry is necessary in terms of competition, as some categories are more concentrated than others. Thus, breaking down global ...

3.2 Distribution channels not very varied

The domination of traditional canals

In ****, distribution throughout the eyewear industry was dominated by a single channel: optical stores. Traditional optical stores are losing market share in the non-corrective eyewear sector, but remain the leaders in the corrective eyewear segment. [***].

The category of non-corrective eyewear is undoubtedly experiencing greater fragmentation as ...

3.3 Market value chain


4.1 Unequal sales volume depending on the offer

Sales volume in the different offers

As mentioned above, the segmentation by category identifies three main sectors within the eyewear industry:

Eyeglasses (***) Sunglasses Contact Lenses

In terms of volume, contact lenses dominate the landscape. A considerable part of this high volume is due to the popularisation of daily disposable lenses, driven ...

4.2 Competition at all levels

In the early ****'s, the Portuguese market was mainly focused on healthcare. Products were manufactured with little differentiation and consumers were not very loyal. The market consisted mainly of large chains such as Luxottica and Safilo, which reduced the possibility for new producers to prosper if they wanted to sell through ...

4.3 A large price gap

Prices vary considerably within the different product categories of the eyewear industry. Undoubtedly, products whose functional and conceptual meaning is intended to last longer have higher prices than products with limited use. The largest difference is observed between frames and contact lenses. It is estimated that about *** *** people in Portugal wear ...

4.4 New potential threats to the existing hierarchy

A number of social, demographic and economic factors are expected to influence market dynamics, both globally and nationally. However, most of the above-mentioned variables are expected to strengthen the eyewear industry (***), although a range of potential threats are developing that could indeed impact the evolution of the industry

Latest innovations

It ...

4.5 Supply trends


A trend that affects both corrective and non-corrective eyewear is the progressive impact of personalization on consumer purchasing habits. According to a study conducted by Deloitte As one in three consumers base their purchases on the ability to personalize a product, the trend affects all industries and is of particular ...


5.1 Rules on the sale of all categories of eyewear products

Due to the particular nature of the product categories, all eyewear, whether worn for corrective or non-corrective purposes, is subject to specific and strict regulations at national and international level.

Decree-Law No ***/**** transposed the European directive ****/**/EC in Portuguese law. It lays down rules on the investigation, manufacture, marketing, putting into ...

5.2 Medical Benefits

Health expenditure also qualifies for a deduction from the WHT, regardless of the VAT rate. In this category, it is possible to deduct **% of the amounts paid, up to a maximum of EUR *,***, per household.

The health deduction covers a wide range of expenses. Consultations, surgical interventions, hospitalizations, treatments, medicines, prostheses, ...


6.1 Segmentation of players

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The optical market - Portugal

Publicado en 31/12/2020 by Jean Marie Benaroya

Great reactivity on the requested information

Businesscoot Response:

Hello Jean-Marie, Thank you for your feedback. We are glad that the study was up to your expectations.

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