Sunglasses recorded single digit current value growth in 2019 as rising sales were driven chiefly by female consumers who may own multiple pairs as fashion accessories, and who replace their sunglasses more frequently than their male counterparts. Canadian men tend to view sunglasses in functional rather than fashion terms and thus will often have different types of sunglasses, each with specific purpose such as sports sunglasses, driving sunglasses, etc.
Canada`s ageing population and ongoing buoyant immigration bode well for continued value growth in sunglasses for the forecast period and beyond. In Canada, sunglasses also seen primarily as eye protection items, protecting one’s vision from sun glare on snow and ice during winter months.
Photochromic lenses have been prominent among recent launches in sunglasses and among the most successful of these has been Essilor’s Transitions Adaptive Lenses. These lenses feature adaptive technology that adjusts to the prevailing lighting conditions and blocks UV rays are not yet competitive with sunglasses.
October 2018 brought the long-awaited final regulatory approval and closing of the Essilor-Luxottica merger. This brought together Essilor, the global leader market in lenses, and Luxottica, the global leader in eyeglass frames to form EssilorLuxottica.
Luxottica Canada Inc’s dominant position in sunglasses, even prior to its merger with Essilor, can be attributed to its wide brand portfolio, which includes well-known designer names such as Ray-Ban, Coach, Oakley and Dolce & Gabbana. Luxottica’s distribution is also a key strength, including notably its direct-owned retail brand Sunglass Hut, which has 97 locations Canada-wide.
Although optical shops remains the dominant distribution channel for sunglasses, the value share of internet retailing continues to grow. Canadians are increasingly appreciating the fact that sunglasses can be purchased online through a variety of internet retailing platforms, including Sunglass Hut, Clearly.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our sunglasses market research database.