Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, contact lenses and solutions registered a considerable decline in sales as consumer lifestyles were shaken up by the health crisis. During the first half of the year sales were negatively impacted by the lockdown to try and control the spread of COVID-19, which started on 9 March.
Contact lenses remained dominated by multinationals in 2020, and the category was highly concentrated in the Italian market. Alcon Italia maintained its lead in this year.
E-commerce is expected to further consolidate its already strong position in contact lenses and solutions in 2021, gaining further value share from physical retailing. COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of e-commerce in Italy, driving a rise in both the supply of products through e-commerce channels and consumer demand for e-commerce services as a result of the unique health and hygiene concerns associated with the COVID-19 crisis.
Over the forecast period, contact lenses and solutions is expected to post a relatively rapid recovery from the decline in sales experienced in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Retail current value sales, for instance, are expected to surpass 2019 figures by 2024 as life returns to normal in Italy and consumers return to their pre-COVID-19 eyewear trends.
Although contact lenses and solutions is expected to continue to gain traction over the forecast period, there are still some obstacles to faster growth and expansion in this category in Italy. For instance, many consumers perceive contact lenses as difficult to use and uncomfortable to wear compared to spectacles, whereas a considerable proportion of consumers are worried that contact lenses may cause eye pain.
Over the forecast period, daily disposable lenses will remain the key growth driver in contact lenses and solutions. In general, Italian consumers are more likely to switch from frequent replacement lenses to daily disposable lenses due to the inconvenience and greater hygiene risks associated with the former.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Contact Lenses industry in Italy with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Contact Lenses research and analysis database.
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