Summary of our market study

The global optics market, encompassing eyewear, contact lenses, and sunglasses, was robust with a valuation of approximately US$157.9 billion in 2021. It is projected to expand significantly, with expectations to reach US$326.3 billion by 2030, propelled by an aging population and increase in disposable incomes. While sunglasses remain a key growth driver, particularly in Europe due to tourism and fashion trends, prescription eyewear also holds a substantial market share. In Spain, the optical sector experienced a resurgence post-pandemic with sales rising to €1.67 billion in 2021, a 9.2% increase from the previous year, despite predictions of a future slowdown due to inflation. Optician establishments and professional numbers saw upward trends, reaching 10,039 retailers and 18,495 opticians in 2020.

Notably, a significant portion of the Spanish population prefers glasses, with 64% owning prescription eyewear in 2021, a preference that has grown since 2020. Moreover, Spain shows a preference for sunglasses, with a substantial 6% market growth in 2022 compared to 2019 and 250,000 more units sold between 2020 and 2021. Contact lenses also gained popularity, with 13% of the Spanish visually impaired population opting for them in 2021. The trend was especially prominent among young individuals aged 18-35 and women. Despite robust market dynamics, regulatory frameworks emphasize patient safety and quality, mandating CE marking and adherence to medical device directives.

Navigating the Optical Landscape: Trends and Preferences in Spain's Eyewear Market

The optical market in Spain paints a vibrant picture influenced by a mix of structural factors including demographic shifts and digital lifestyles. With a growing population fueling additional demand, Spain's market is witnessing a steady increase in the need for optical products. Young adults are particularly affected by myopia due to early screen exposure, while an ageing population bolsters the demand further. Preference for glasses remains strong among the Spanish population, with approximately 78% of vision-impaired individuals opting for spectacles. Remarkably, the younger demographic, specifically individuals aged between 18 and 35, exhibit the highest propensity to wear glasses. While spectacles dominate, there's a noticeable rise in contact lens adoption, which climbed by three percentage points between 2017 and 2021, particularly among the younger demographic and primarily females.

In fact, about 44% of young adults with vision problems choose contact lenses, and the female contingent using lenses outnumbers the male by nearly double. Sunglasses also enjoy prominence in the Spanish market, thanks to the favorable weather and a strong tourism industry. Post the pandemic-induced slowdown, the sunglasses segment has rebounded, growing by 6% in 2022 surpassing pre-pandemic figures. The market sees a significant annual sale of sunglasses with an increase of 14.2% from 2020 to 2021. The market reflects a robust inclination towards eyewear, with individuals investing in both fashionable and protective varieties. The average prices for various optical products like corrective lenses and sunglasses have seen an uptick in 2021, indicative of a market that's slowly leaning towards premium products. The eyewear consumption per person has seen significant financial commitment, with amounts ranging from 138 to 253 euros for various optical products. This convergence of style and utility, coupled with the demographic and lifestyle factors, outlines the shape of Spain's eyewear market — a landscape where glasses retain their traditional stronghold, yet alternative optical aids like contact lenses are carving out a notable space, particularly among the youth and women.

Key Optical Market Players and Their Dominant Presence

The optical market landscape in Spain and globally is represented by a dynamic mix of key players, whose influence spans from production to distribution. These firms have carved their niches, showcasing their strengths and driving the industry with innovation, accessibility, and customer-centric approaches.

  • Alain Afflelou stands as a notable figure in the optical retail sector, particularly for its strong presence in Spain, offering a wide range of eyewear products. Known for its marketing expertise and innovative campaigns like the famous "Tchin Tchin" offering, Alain Afflelou has grown into a household name synonymous with quality and affordability.
  • Opticalia, a significant player, has made its mark by combining fashion with optics. It distinguishes itself with collections endorsed by well-known personalities, reflecting contemporary design trends and making eyewear not just a visual aid but a fashion statement.
  • Soloptical, another key distributor, is recognized for its comprehensive services and diverse product lineup. Catering to various customer needs from prescription glasses to designer sunglasses, Soloptical offers individualized attention to detail in both product selection and customer care.
  • Multiópticas has demonstrated strength in its cooperative approach, where its members share a common marketing strategy. This has allowed it to thrive with a strong brand recognition and a wide reach across Spain, making it a formidable competitor in the optics retail scene. Visionlab, with its aggressive pricing strategy and express service, entices customers who prioritize convenience and value for money. Known for their on-site laboratories and swift turnaround, Visionlab appeals to consumers seeking a fast and efficient solution to their optical needs.
  • Essilor Luxottica, as a titan in both lens and frame manufacturing, wields significant power over the market. The merger of Essilor and Luxottica has brought together leading names in prescription lenses and luxury eyewear, making them a staple in both the production and retail segments. Their comprehensive portfolio featuring household names like Ray-Ban and Oakley ensures their dominance in the sector.

These prominent players contribute uniquely to the optical market, offering a blend of styles, functionalities, and price points, catering to a diverse client base and aided by strategic positioning in both domestic and international markets. Their ongoing adaptations to market demands and consumer preferences sustain their growth and reinforce their standings within the industry.

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  • Number of pages : ~ 40 pages
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  • Last update : 19/05/2023
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and presentation

Optics covers all the equipment worn by individuals to improve their natural vision. These include optical glasses, sunglasses and contact lenses. It should be noted that not all these segments necessarily follow the same seasonal pattern, with sunglasses sales peaking sharply in the summer months.

Globally, the optical market is driven by several structural factors that underpin demand. First and foremost, the world's growing population is creating additional demand for optical products, with growth concentrated in emerging countries. In developed countries, the use of screens from a very early age and living conditions are leading more and more young adults to develop myopia and to buy glasses. What's more, European countries are seeing their populations age, which further increases demand.

In Spain, the optical market is divided between eyewear production (prescription, sunglasses, contact lenses) and eyewear distribution, which can involve very different companies. The main optical distributors in Spain are : Alain Afflelou, Opticalia, Soloptical, Multiópticas and Visionlab, and the three cities with the most distributors are Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. [Limon Data]

1.2 A fast-growing global market

Global market size

Optical market size World, ****-****, in billions of US$ CAGR (***): +*.* CAGR (***): +*.*% Source: ****

The global optics market, which includes eyewear, contact lenses, sunglasses and other eyewear products, was estimated at around US$***.* billion in **** and is expected to reach a value of US$***.* billion by ****.

There are * main categories ...

1.3 A growing national market

Spanish market size

The optics market in Spain is growing again. In ****, the sector in Spain recorded sales of *.** billion euros, an increase of *.*% on the previous year.

Despite the recovery in ****, the sector has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, following the collapse in consumption caused by the Covid-** crisis. ...

1.4 Optical foreign trade

Here we consider the data provided by UN Comtrade for the following product categories:

**** **** **** And their sub-categories

These three codes include prescription glasses, contact lenses, sunglasses and frames.

Foreign trade in optics Spain, ****-****, in millions of US$ Source: UN Comtrade The chart above illustrates the trade in eyewear in ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Incompressible demand

In ****, the main vision problems in Spain will be myopia, astigmatism, presbyopia and hypermetropia. The following graph shows the main vision problems among the visually impaired population. Myopia accounts for around **% of all cases of visual impairment in Spain.

Main vision problems among Spaniards Spain, ****, in Source: ****

Vision problems according to ...

2.2 A preference for glasses

A preference for glasses Do you usually use a vision correction system? Spain, ****, in Source: White Paper Spectacles are the most common type of correction worn by the spectacle-deficient population (***). **% of people with a visual problem wear no correction at all. Evolution of demand Evolution of the population wearing glasses Spain, ...

2.3 Sunglasses

In Spain, the market for sunglasses is significantly larger than in most developed countries, due to the favorable climate for their use and historically high tourism. In ****, frames and sunglasses accounted for **.*% of total optical market volume in the peninsula. However, containment phases and a drastic reduction in tourist arrivals led ...

2.4 Lenses, increasingly popular

Evolution of demand

Evolution of the lens population Spain, ****-****, as % of population with sight problems Source: ****

Between **** and ****, the share of the population wearing lenses is on the rise (***). In Spain in ****, **% of the total population will be wearing contact lenses .

Lenses, widely worn by young people

Lens wear by ...

3 Market structure

3.1 The care pathway and the various healthcare professionals involved

Here's a diagram of the market structure:

Only an ophthalmologist (***). During the appointment, the specialist examines the eyes through various tests, then draws up the prescription according to the person's specific needs. The first prescription is valid for one year, and once renewed, lenses can be purchased for a further * years. ...

3.2 Optical equipment production in Spain

The eyewear and contact lens production process

The production sites of the optical market are diverse, from the big leaders established in Spain and Europe (***) to the historic houses and the new brands and start-ups that are emerging. Depending on the range, glasses and lenses are not all manufactured in the ...

3.3 Distribution in the optical market

Overview of the optical retailing

Number of establishments Spain, ****-****, in units Source: ****

Number of industry professionals Spain, ****-****, in units Source: ****

We can see that the number of establishments and staff has increased in recent years, reaching **,*** optical retailers for a total of **,*** opticians in ****.

Optician activity is particularly concentrated ...

3.4 Ophthalmologists, prescribers of eyewear

Consultation locations

Where do you have your eye examinations performed? Spain, ****, as % of total Source: ****

In Spain , opticians and ophthalmologists are logically the preferred places for consultations .

Main hospitals

Hospitals with the best reputation for the ophthalmology specialty Spain, ****, index Source: ****

The hospitals with the best reputation for optahlmology in Spain ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Market products

General overview

Broadly speaking, the three main sectors of the eyewear industry include :

Eyewear (***) Sunglasses Contact lenses

The product range is broad, and is measured according to the different needs of the eye. Glasses with different types of lenses, contact lenses, sunglasses with polarized lenses or different colors for a specific ...

4.2 Eyeglass and contact lens prices

Here are the average prices of various optical products in Spain.

Corrective lenses

Price trends for corrective lenses Spain, ****-****, in euros Source: ****

The average selling price of corrective lenses in Spain in **** is **.** euros, up *% on ****.

Prescription glasses

Eyewear price trend (***) Spain, ****-****, in Source: ****

The average selling price of ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Legislation and recommendations

Prescription eyewear

Prescription spectacles are Class I medical devices and must therefore comply with the safety, efficacy and quality requirements laid down in Royal Decree ***/**** governing medical devices . These requirements include the data that must appear on the label, which in the case of the products in question are as ...

5.2 Financing and grants

ForMUFACE affiliates, partial financial assistance is available for a variety of ophthalmic treatments and services. This assistance includes subsidies for eyeglasses, progressive eyeglasses, lens replacement, contact lenses, therapeutic lenses, low vision cases and prismatic aids. However, it is important to note that there are exceptions and limitations in terms of application ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Player segmentation

  • Générale d'optique (GrandVision)
  • Essilor Luxottica groupe
  • Afflelou
  • Krys Group
  • Optical Center

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Optical market size
  • Proportion of the population wearing glasses and contact lenses
  • Optical sector sales
  • Breakdown of sales by product type
  • Foreign trade in optics
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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.
Krys Group puts the finishing touches to the modernization of its Bazainville plant - 08/03/2024
  • -Investment in expansion and modernization program: 23 million euros
  • - Post-renovation manufacturing capacity increase: 30%
  • - Planned production capacity: 1.8 million units per year
  • - Krys Group sales in 2023: €1.265 billion
  • - Number of associates: around 900, representing 1,600 points of sale
  • - Supplying around a thousand independent opticians
  • - Krys Group plans to open 400 additional stores by 2028.
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.
Krys group: innovations for the ecological transition - 06/02/2024
  • Codir, a subsidiary of Krys Group, grouping together its industrial and logistics activities, will produce 1.4 million lenses by 2021
  • The subsidiary employs 330 people
  • Krys Group generates sales of 1.2 billion euros, and has 1,533 stores in France, as well as around 50 in Belgium, Poland and Morocco.
  • With its two other banners, Le Collectif des lunetiers and Lynx Optique, the Group has a 16.5% market share in France.
  • Its ambition is to open a further 400 outlets by 2028.
  • Over the past ten years, it has expanded into the hearing sector, with 277 centers.
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
Afflelou innovates: discount, private labels and teleconsultation - 04/12/2023
  • Brand stores grew by 5% in the fiscal year to July 31, to 876 million euros, of which 64% in France, 26% in Spain and 10% in other countries such as Switzerland and Belgium.
  • In France, performance in the optical sector was 6.4%, outperforming the market, which grew by 4.1%.
  • The family increased its shareholding to 30% with the purchase of the Apax Partners fund's stake.
  • Optical eyewear accounts for 92% of sales, while hearing aids account for just 8%.
  • Of the group's 1,440 outlets, 510 are equipped with a dedicated hearing aid area.
  • The company has set up teleconsultation booths in 180 stores, with 10,000 teleconsultations to be carried out by 2023.
  • Prescription optical sales account for 82% of business.
  • An identified potential of 150 new units in France and 75 in Spain, and an increase of 45 openings in one year.
  • Afflelou's own-brand products already account for 60% of the offering.

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. :

Générale d'optique (GrandVision)
Essilor Luxottica groupe
Krys Group
Optical Center

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