The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia led to a significant reduction in retail value sales for luxury eyewear in 2020, with several factors impacting these results. Firstly, the Australian government implemented a six-week lockdown from mid-March 2020, which included the closure of non-essential stores, encouraging the population to work from home, while implementing social distancing measures.
Over the entire review period, luxury sun glass sales out-paced luxury spectacle frames in retail value terms. Growth in sun glasses, in general, was driven by the outdoor beach culture of the country, with consumers’ increased knowledge of eye care leading many to look for reliable protection from strong UV rays.
E-commerce sales for luxury eyewear boomed in 2020 as first, non-essential stores were closed during lockdown and then consumers avoided retail stores due to fears of contracting COVID-19. As a result, many luxury brands as well as retailers had to adapt their e-commerce offering for luxury eyewear.
Although luxury eyewear is expected to see healthy constant retail value growth in 2021 as well as the rest of the forecast period, the category is not set to recover until 2025, when consumers are more comfortable investing in high-price items after the outbreak of COVID-19. Price-conscious behaviour partnered with store closures in 2020 saw consumers putting their luxury spectacle frame needs on hold.
Manufacturers of luxury sun glasses are expected to focus more on developing and promoting products that offer better protection against UV rays. Australia experiences some of the highest levels of UV radiation in the world, and local consumers are increasingly conscious that in addition to causing skin cancer, exposure to UV rays may be a contributory factor in the development of certain types of eye cancer and other eye conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
While early models have failed to win over consumers, smart glasses have the potential to become a disruptive force in luxury eyewear over the medium term. Global tech giants are investing heavily in this area and such products are unlikely to pose a significant challenge to luxury eyewear brands during the forecast period, partly because there are still many design and functionality obstacles for developers to overcome, but also due to growing public concern about their implications in terms of privacy, safety, data security etc.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Luxury Eyewear industry in Australia with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
Key trends are clearly and succinctly summarised alongside the most current research data available. Understand and assess competitive threats and plan corporate strategy with our qualitative analysis, insight and confident growth projections.
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This report originates from Passport, our Luxury Eyewear research and analysis database.
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