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  • Number of pages : 30 pages
  • Format : Digital and PDF versions
  • Last update : 27/11/2021
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1 Market Overview

1.1 Definition and presentation

Sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun and, in some cases, have built-in vision correction. Depending on your tastes and preferences, there are numerous frame and lens options. Sunglasses are both a style statement and a necessity for some sports. Sunglasses have been a hugely successful market for manufacturers in recent years, particularly luxury labels. Despite the fact that sales dropped in 2020 due to the pandemic, the market has suffered less than other industries. Design, production and sales are the three main components of the highly competitive and fragmented global eyewear market. According to several researches, sales of sunglasses will continue to expand in the future due to a number of variables, including demographics, the development of emerging markets, improved living standards, and increased accessibility of particular products. Increased awareness of health issues, as well as the emergence of new sales channels, such as e-commerce, are all key effects.

The global sunglasses market has been valued at $21.97 billion in 2021, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.86 percent from 2021 to 2027, to $29.68 billion by 2027.

Italy is second only to China in terms of global production and the undisputed leader in the high-end segment. The Italian eyewear sector is dominated by a few large companies with a strong presence in international markets, flanked by a multitude of small and medium-sized companies specializing in eyewear sales and repair or subcontracting. They are concentrated in the northeast, where about 75 percent of domestic production takes place and where the main industry players are located. Recent mergers and acquisitions have reshaped the competitive landscape of European high-end eyewear, leading to a shift in manufacturing leadership, previously dominated by Italian firms and now shared in part by major French luxury groups. The market leader is Luxottica, followed by Safilo and De Rigo.

Although in-store trials are still significant, online sales now account for 12.8 percent of total sales. Consumer habits are changing and virtual try-on systems are evolving. In a few seasons, e-commerce will explode, and some companies are already preferring to sell only online.

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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. :

Essilor Luxottica groupe
De Rigo Vision
Marcolin (LVMH Groupe)
Safilo Group
Carl Zeiss Group

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