In Canada, lockdown had a significant impact on sales of luxury eyewear in 2020 as retail distribution channels were closed, including luxury department stores and luxury specialist retailers, while opticians/optometrists were limited to emergency services only in most regions. In the reopening phase, beginning in May in several regions, channels reopened with enhanced safety measures and reduced operating hours which hampered the sales recovery in the second half of the year.
In 2020, the majority of luxury eyewear sales in Canada remained via non-grocery specialists such as independent or mass optical retailers, specialist retailers such as Sunglass Hut, and luxury department stores such as Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, despite their temporary closure during the lockdown period. However, Canadian consumers shifted noticeably towards e-commerce for purchases of frames and lenses, using existing prescriptions, due to the limited services available from opticians during lockdown.
Companies such as Australia-based Bailey Nelson which view spectacles as a fashion item have expanded into Canada, producing designs quickly to keep pace with fashion trends while offering competitive prices. Canadian companies such as Bonlook have also adopted this model to retail spectacle frames both online and in physical locations.
Value sales of luxury eyewear are expected to start to recover from 2021 but will be slow to reach pre-COVID-19 levels. Luxury sunglasses will recover slightly sooner than luxury spectacle frames, driven by women’s luxury sunglasses which will maintain a larger value share than men’s luxury sunglasses.
Luxury sunglasses is expected to witness the stronger growth over the forecast period as a whole compared to luxury spectacle frames, although sales will be slow to recover to pre-COVID-19 levels, not doing so until 2023 at the earliest. In the first half of the forecast period, purchases of high-end brands such as Plano will continue to be impacted by reduced tourism because of travel restrictions, notably the closure of the Canada-US border to non-essential travel which has been in place since March 2020 and continually extended.
The growth in e-commerce seen in 2020 is likely to continue in the forecast period. E-commerce will increase in prominence for luxury eyewear as consumers engage in more online shopping due to health concerns and for its convenience.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Luxury Eyewear industry in Canada 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 Luxury Eyewear research and analysis database.
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