Sunglasses were primarily demanded for their functional usage, to provide protection to the eyes by blocking the sun’s direct rays. Even within the luxury segment, consumers bought sunglasses from premium brands due to their high functionality and durability.
In India, the majority of luxury sunglasses brands, such as Prada, Dior and Gucci, are associated with women’s fashion, making them popular amongst this consumer group. According to Euromonitor Lifestyles survey data, sentiment on future spending on luxury and non-necessities among women using credit cards increased from 2016 to 2017.
Non-grocery specialists will remain the dominant channel for sales of luxury eyewear over the forecast period. Given the high unit prices of luxury sunglasses, the concept of touch and feel is significant, as consumers want to ensure they obtain the desired quality for the price they pay.
Luxottica India Eyewear continued to lead luxury eyewear in retail value terms in 2017, with a variety of power brands in its portfolio, such as Ray-Ban, Oakley, Burberry and Bvlgari, amongst others. The popularity and strong brand recognition of the company’s luxury eyewear products amongst consumers, especially high-income individuals, helped to ensure growth in value sales in 2017, although it saw a decline in its share.
The merger between Luxottica and Essilor will strengthen the position of Luxottica India Eyewear in the country in the forecast period. As the two companies operate in different categories, the combined entity will have an even bigger product portfolio across multiple categories.
Luxottica India Eyewear and Safilo India are two companies controlling the licenses for the majority of luxury eyewear brands in India. Licensing is a common strategy in luxury eyewear, which has brought a variety of brands into the country.
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