Eyewear is an accessory worn on or over the eyes either for correcting vision defects, protection of the eyes from harmful UV rays, or as a style accessory to enhance one's looks. Eyewear can be a lens worn on the eyes or sunglasses. Rising global temperatures, prolonged summers, and growing awareness about the risks of UV rays are propelling the growth of the eyewear market. Moreover, the rising number of eye diseases, demand for trendy sunglasses by millenials, and increasing use of contact lenses by the general population all over the globe are bolstering the demand for eyewear.
The global eyewear market was valued at around USD 125 billion in 2018 at a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period 2019-2026.
While several factors contribute to the growth of the eyewear market, the growing geriatric population remains one of the fundamental determinants behind the increasing demand. According to World Health Organisation’s first World Report on Vision, more than one billion people globally are living with vision impairment due to the lack of care needed for conditions such as glaucoma, cataract, and short and farsightedness. According to the same report, at least 2.2 billion people have a vision impairment or blindness, and 1 billion of these cases could be prevented. To address this problem, WHO launched a global initiative known as VISION 2020 to eliminate the causes of treatable blindness. This initiative is expected to spur the number of ophthalmologists globally who will prescribe prescription glasses, thereby accelerating the growth of the eyewear market. Common eyesight problems include astigmatism, presbyopia, hyperopia, myopia, and refractive errors. The aforementioned problems can be cured with the help of prescription glasses and contact lenses. The increasing population in developing countries and the high prevalence of these vision problems are foreseen to drive the eyewear market during the forecast period.
The increasing incidence of occupational hazards in the industrial sector has compelled industrial safety organizations to make safety goggles and safety glasses mandatory on the shop floor in manufacturing plants. Safety goggles are equipped with high impact resistance glasses, which can prevent small flying particles such as metal, steel, and wood, from damaging the eyes. According to a recent study done by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), around 1,000 people suffer from one eye injury in the workplace every day, and 10% of these injuries are severe. To prevent loss of man-hours, there has is a pressing demand from the industrial sector for protective eyewear.
Changing Lifestyles, Rising Living Standards, and Fashion Trends
The fast-changing technological landscape has increased screen exposure time than ever before. The younger generation is increasingly getting addicted to smartphones and computers, which is causing prolonged exposure to blue light frequencies and radiations that are known to cause strain on the eyes and disturb the sleep cycle. Furthermore, increasing disposable income and the trend for designer sunglasses is promoting market demand. Due to these factors, eyewear producers are focussing on meeting the constantly changing demand from the fashion industry and their customers, which is anticipated to boost the growth of the eyewear market.
Government and non-government entities are conducting campaigns and programs to spread awareness about the preventions and treatments available for eyesight problems. This has led to an increase in the acknowledgment of eye health amongst consumers, which acts as a primary factor for the growth of the eyewear market. Secondly, according to the United Nations (UN), the geriatric population is expanding faster than any other age group globally. This population primarily suffers from various eye-related diseases such as cataract in the older population, which is surging the demand for prescription-based eyewear. Thirdly, the dynamic fashion industry and fashion trends have enabled the manufacturers to roll out the latest sunglasses with higher appeal and improved design and enhanced finishes.
Improving economic development supported by a rise in per capita income has boosted the consumer’s ability to spend on corrective eye surgeries such as LASEK, epi-LASIK, RLE, PRK, and PRELEX due to development in medical technologies, which may hamper the market demand. Also, the pricing difference between branded and unbranded eyewear in developing countries has shifted the preference towards low-cost products, particularly among the middle-class population, which may further impede the growth of the eyewear market.
Spectacle Segment to Flourish in the Global Eyewear Market
The spectacle category occupies a significant revenue share in the eyewear market, and this trend is likely to continue during 2019–2026. Rising population growth and increasing vision defects will boost the demand for prescription spectacles during the forecast period. Contact lenses are a product of medical innovation, and their demand is on the upward trajectory among people with high disposal income. The benefits of contact lenses include better vision and higher aesthetic appeal. The growing popularity of daily and monthly disposable contact lenses, as well as internet retailing, is expected to contribute to the growth of the eyewear market. The sunglasses segment will continue to register high demand during the forecast period, but less than the prescription glasses segment. By end user, the women segment is on the rise as market players are launching the latest designs of eyewear to cater to the fashion-conscious female segment.
Offline Segment Provides Quick After-Sales Service and Low-Cost Eye Checkup
The offline segment accounted for a sizable portion of the overall market during 2018. Delivery of eyewear through departmental stores, retailing, and hypermarkets is expected to grow over the forecast period. People still prefer going to optical ships to buy eyewear since they provide quick after-sales services with less hassle and also offer free or low-cost eye checkups whenever someone goes to buy new eyewear. However, the online mode of distribution is set to see a two-fold rise over the forecast period. Shifting preferences of consumers towards online sales channels due to busier work life and free deliveries are also expected to observe an uptick.
North America region will continue to see a rise in demand during the forecast period. North America is home to the global leaders of the eyewear market, where leading manufacturers provide designer frames with high-end glasses, and customers prefer luxury brands to match their wardrobe. Asia-Pacific is expected to emerge as the fastest-growing market during the forecast period. Rising population and higher disposable income alongside increasing brand and fashion consciousness will propel the demand for eyewear in the Asia-Pacific region. Also, a wide variety of products are manufactured in China at a cheap manufacturing cost and at the same time, provide a wide choice of frames and styles, which is expected to fuel the regional growth. In countries such as India and China, growing preferences for branded sunglasses at lower costs will propel the growth of the eyewear market. In India, companies such as Lenskart are using online sales channels to capture the market for eyewear. They make use of the latest technologies and artificial intelligence, enabling customers to try on products in a 3D avatar without having to physically visit an offline store. Furthermore, efforts are being channelized to standardize medical and eye care facilities to prevent eye defects and eye-related issues in the rural areas of countries such as India, which has led to an increase in eye care facilities.
In developing countries such as those in Africa, there has been a rise in vision defects and blindness that can be prevented in the case of early detection. According to a report released by WHO, low and middle-income countries of Western and Eastern Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have rates of blindness that are eight times higher than that in all high-income countries. Rates of trachomatous trichiasis and cataract are higher among women, particularly in low and middle-income regions. There has been considerable intervention by governmental and non-governmental bodies in the region, which is foreseen to boost the demand for eyewear in the region.
Luxottica Group, Hoya Corporation, Essilor International S.A, Fielmann AG, Rodenstock, Safilo Group, Seiko Optical Products, Shamir Optical Industry, Ltd, Shanghai Conant Optics, Silhouette International, Uvex Winter Holding, Vision-Ease Lens, Carl Zeiss AG, Bausch + Lomb, Inc., Charmant Group, Chemilens, CIBA Vision, CooperVision, Daemyung Optical CO, De Rigo SpA, Johnson and Johnson, Marchon Eyewear, Marcolin Eyewear, Strategy Dashboard, and Qspex Technologies are some of the key players in the eyewear market.
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