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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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