The world’s largest regional market for sunglasses, Western Europe is expected to see stable growth despite weak macroeconomic indicators in key markets. Led by early adopters in France and the Netherlands, internet retailing has seen rising uptake by consumers seeking better prices and greater convenience. Despite reduced barriers to entry for smaller players due to the uptake of internet retailing, market consolidation has persisted.
Western Europe leads global value sales of sunglasses
Recording 2% retail constant value growth from 2017, sunglasses in Western Europe rose to USD5.3 billion in 2018 and remained the largest regional market for sunglasses. Overtaking North America at USD5.1 billion, the rapidly expanding Asia Pacific region followed closely at USD5.2 billion in 2018, and is set to become the world’s largest region for sunglasses from 2019 onwards.
Italy grows to the largest sunglasses market in Western Europe
Italy is now the largest sunglasses market in Western Europe, followed by Germany and France. Once the region’s largest market, back in 2013, France recorded the region’s only decline in retail value over 2013-2018, with a CAGR of -1%, due to years of unit price pressure on sunglasses.
Market consolidation persists despite reduced barriers to entry
Led by Italy, where the combined share of the top five companies rose from 76% to 89% of value sales between 2012 and 2017, market consolidation persists across sunglasses in Western Europe, despite reduced barriers to entry. Over 2012-2017, the top five companies saw their combined value share grow from 58% to 59% across Western Europe.
Despite maturity, sunglasses in Western Europe is set to see steady forecast growth
Over 2018-2023, value sales of sunglasses in Western Europe are set to grow by a CAGR of 3% at constant prices, to reach USD6.1 billion in 2023, supported by sunglasses increasingly becoming a fashion statement. The region’s USD716 million absolute growth through to 2023 will be the world’s second largest after Asia Pacific.
Luxury players are expected to seek greater control over sunglasses
Following the success of Kering SA’s decision to retake control of its eyewear from Safilo Group SpA, a rising number of luxury players are expected to move away from traditional licensing deals in order to protect their exclusive image and capture higher margins.
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