Eyewear is predicted to make a partial recovery in 2021 following significant declines in demand the previous year as a result of the closure of key distribution channels due to pandemic-induced lockdown restrictions, reduced demand as a result of rising price sensitivity, limited tourism, both domestic and international, particularly impacting demand for sunglasses, and lack of time spent outside of the home due to remote working and studying measures, reducing an emphasis on appearance and supporting a reliance on previously owned models of spectacles, for instance.
Discounting is likely to remain a relevant trend within eyecare in 2021 as retailers and players attempt to drive up demand through attractive promotions, a trend that will ensure that value sales will remain below pre-pandemic levels as well as recording slower growth compared to volume. Promotions are likely to be driven both by physical stores once they reopen, and online with a number of e-commerce sites offering significant discounts on spectacles, contact lenses and sunglasses into the first half of 2021.
Eyewear remained a fairly fragmented competitive landscape in 2020 with the largest combined value share held by smaller players under “others”. Rising price sensitivity amongst consumers as a result of the pandemic, has seen the latter gain further ground from major players including Johnson & Johnson, Ciba Vision and Bausch & Lomb within the more consolidated category of contact lenses; EssilorLuxottica SA and Luxottica Group due to their offer of higher end spectacle frames such as Oakley, Ray-Ban and Giorgio Armani; and Malaysian Hoya Lens and Essilor (M) Sdn Bhd within spectacle lenses, although Malaysian Hoya Lens, which locally represents brands for the Japanese Hoya Corp including Hoyalux iD Mystyle, gained overall leadership of eyewear in 2020.
Physical bricks-and-mortar optical stores remain crucial in the distribution share of eyewear in Malaysia, as many consumers still prefer to try on different styles of spectacles or sunglasses prior to making a purchasing decision. Furthermore, consumers must visit opticians in-store to have their eyes checked and to obtain a prescription, although they are then free to purchase spectacles or contact lenses in-store or online.
Lingering price sensitivity amongst some consumers is likely to drive further discounts and promotional deals into 2022, as retailers and players continue to offer attractive bundle promotions and significant discounts to drive up greater demand, particularly as further restrictions could subdue a stronger recovery for the market in the early part of the forecast period. This activity will be particularly evident within contact lenses and sunglasses, resulting in value sales (at constant 2021 prices) struggling to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2023 for both categories.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Eyewear industry in Malaysia 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 Eyewear research and analysis database.
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