The Brazilian macroeconomic situation has been facing a long period of modest recovery and GDP projections are constantly being revised downwards. With the unemployment rates constantly around 12% of the population aged 14 years and over (according to IBGE, the official national statistics), reducing the purchasing power, especially among low-and middle-income consumers, the confidence in the economic future remains weak and unnecessary consumption of items such as sunglasses is negatively impacted.
If corrective spectacles can rely on population ageing to support growth, even during the crisis, sunglasses face this challenging period without equivalent macrotrends supporting the demand and protecting its sales performance. As sunglasses are considered items of unnecessary consumption, it is among the first categories impacted by difficult economic times, leading to postponed or even cancelled purchases.
The next movements by retailers will be in the direction of educating consumers about eyewear as a fashion accessory. Some retailers already offer the services of in-store experts to advise on the frame colours that work best with the clients’ eyes and hair colours as well as models that best fit consumers’ facial structure and help them attain personal objectives in terms of expressing their identity.
The main sunglasses brands traditionally reinforce their association with cultural movements and trends by promoting launch events and mass media communication efforts. Chilli Beans, one of Brazil’s main brands, holds parties to launch its new collections.
Luxottica, the leading manufacturer, acquired Óticas Carol, one of the most important chains of optical retail stores, increasing its products’ levels of visibility beyond Sunglass Hut, its other retailer brand. Even though Óticas Carol does not work exclusively with Luxottica’s products, it naturally gives more visibility to its own brands, especially Ray-Ban.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our sunglasses market research database.