After seeing slow retail volume growth and a stronger current value increase in 2019, in 2020 luxury eyewear turned to strong declines by both measures. Eyewear stores, including vision correction optical stores with qualified optometrists, were closed during the COVID-19 lockdown that was put in place by the South African government from March.
Luxury eyewear, like most personal luxury goods, is heavily influenced by celebrity and influencer fashion trends. Like other consumers, celebrities and influencers also had to adhere to the same travel regulations, travelling as little as possible unless for essential goods or business in order to social distance.
Luxottica is the long-time leader in luxury eyewear in South Africa, and maintained its lead in 2019. The company benefits from strong popular brands such as D&G, which is a favourite amongst consumers across the income spectrum as it has product offerings at different price points.
With the continuing presence of COVID-19 in South Africa at the beginning of 2021, and vaccines only just starting to be rolled out, luxury eyewear is set to continue to decline in 2021 in both retail volume and current value terms. A return to current value and volume growth is expected in 2022 and for the rest of the forecast period.
Luxury eyewear underwent a few major changes towards the end of the review period, such as the merger of Essilor and Luxottica, as well as major changes by Kering and LVMH, which took back their luxury brands from Safilo. These made for good industry performance in 2019.
The fashion industry evolves with culture over time, as seen with the new home-based fashion trends promoted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eyewear has grown to be synonymous with fashion trends.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Luxury Eyewear industry in South Africa 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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