Eyewear: Quarterly Statement Q1 2021

March 2021

Heavily reliant on optical stores, the eyewear industry has been hit hard by store closures and other restrictions implemented in various parts of the world to contain the Coronavirus pandemic. This briefing provides Euromonitor International’s Q1 2021 quarterly research results and market updates on 2020-2025 forecasts for eyewear and identifies the markets and strategies that will represent the largest opportunities in eyewear through to 2025.

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Key findings

Minor changes for the top 10 global markets in Q1 2021 update

The eyewear industry shows relatively low income elasticity and despite the global economic outlook having substantially improved in Q1 2021 compared with the end of 2020, forecast sales in the top 10 eyewear markets - which account for over 70% global demand - have only been marginally updated compared with the October 2020 baseline.

Eurozone markets struggle with succeeding Coronavirus (COVID-19) waves and slower than expected vaccination programmes

Several markets in the Eurozone are still implementing tighter COVID-19 rules to curb resurgence of the virus. These, along with a much slower than anticipated EU vaccination rollout programme, are restraining recovery of the eyewear industry especially in France Germany and Italy. With non-essential travel bans in place across several markets, foreign demand also remains heavily disrupted further hampering the luxury segment of eyewear.

US, China and India to account for over 70% global growth to 2025

China and India together are set to account for more than 40% of the global eyewear absolute value growth over 2021-2025, benefiting from rising rates of myopia and expanding middle classes. The US will nonetheless remain the world’s largest eyewear market by 2025, and account for another 29% of the forecast global value growth driven by innovations, replacements, and President Biden’s accelerated vaccination campaign and COVID-19 stimulus plan.

Market players to focus on digitalisation and Asia

As epitomised by EssilorLuxottica’s strategy, eyewear distribution is set to further move online and more telehealth and other tech innovations will be rolled out in future. As Asia is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic sooner and faster than its European and American counterparts, the region is likely to lead in terms of digital innovations with eyewear players set to increase investments in the region.


About eyewear quarterly forecast updates
Key findings

Q1 Eyewear Update

Q1 2021 quarterly scenarios reflect a high degree of uncertainty
Eyewear shows relatively low income elasticity
A slightly slower recovery expected to 2025
Minor changes in 2021 for the top 10 global markets in Q1 2021 update
Spectacles sees the largest absolute reduction in forecast sales to 2025
However, contact lenses suffers most in the forecast period
Travel disruption continues to hamper demand for sunglasses
Sunglasses brands target local consumers more actively
Eurozone markets struggle with succeeding COVID-19 waves
Despite a slump in forecast sales over 2021-2025, India remain a growth engine
US, China and India to account for over 70% of global growth to 2025

Q1 Personal Accessories Update

EssilorLuxottica’s increased focus on digitalisation and Asia…
…resonates in the wider eyewear industry
Key takeaways from Q1 2021 quarterly update

Q1 Macroeconomic Update

Global baseline outlook: Downside risks to the recovery have declined
Uncertainty remains high, but with a more optimistic tilt
Real GDP annual growth forecasts and revisions from last quarter, AE (%, percentage points)
Real GDP annual growth forecasts and revisions from last quarter, EMDE (%, percentage points)
COVID-19 scenarios summary

About our Quarterly Update

Euromonitor International and COVID-19: Forecasts and analysis
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