World Market for Eyewear

November 2021

The eyewear industry is showing signs of recovery in 2021 largely driven by innovations, and replacements in the US, and rising income and greater access to eye health in India and China. Post-pandemic, consumers increasingly expect convenience, quality and purpose, and the shift to e-commerce is set to further accelerate with the deployment of digital tools. In that context, M&A activity will surge with industry players seeking to expand in new growth hotspots and to transform digitally.

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Key Findings

Global sales bounce back from 2021

After a severe decline in 2020 due to COVID-19, the eyewear industry is already showing signs of a bounce back, with global sales up by 5% in 2021. The industry is set to recover pre-COVID-19 sales levels by the end of 2024, as demand for essential corrective products remains strong, while more discretionary categories such as sunglasses, which suffered most during the pandemic, are recovering thanks to the reopening of stores, the increased digital offer as well as a strong demand for outdoors activities, and an increase in travel activities compared to 2020 when they were at a standstill.

Asia Pacific continues to drive global sales

Asia Pacific continues to be the world’s growth engine and will add an extra USD7.8 billion in sales from 2021 to 2026. At USD35.3 billion in 2021, it will match Western Europe in terms of regional value sales. By 2026, Asia Pacific is expected to overtake North America and become the largest region in terms of eyewear sales in the world at USD42.9 billion, as demand for eyewear in the region is set to grow faster than in the rest of the world due to demographic factors, increased disposable income and wider access to eye correction in many markets including China and India where the eyewear penetration rate is still relatively low compared to Europe or America.

Channel shifts as new shopping habits stick

COVID-19 has been a catalyst for e-commerce adoption among eyewear players which had historically been overreliant on optical shops. As consumers continue to enjoy the convenience of online shopping, and as the shift to learning, working, eating, shopping, playing and socialising moves further to the home and online, eyewear players are set to deploy digital services to replicate virtually their in-store offer in future. But physical stores remain important to create bonds with customers, and retailers and brands will also invest in enhancing their physical locations for greater engagement and service delivery.

From sustainability to purpose

Since the pandemic, consumers have had time to rethink their priorities and needs and increasingly demand from the brands they buy to be purpose-driven. In that context, eyewear players will be expected to increasingly support social initiatives and local communities, as well as increase their commitments to combat climate change, in order to gain consumers’ favour.



Key findings

Industry Snapshot

Eyewear in context
Eyewear already showing signs of a bounce back in 2021
Consumers in top eyewear markets mainly spend on spectacles
Asia Pacific to overtake North America by 2026
The US, China and India are top contributors to world’s growth
Spectacles still accounts for most eyewear sales
E-commerce gains ground but optical shops remain paramount

Leading Companies and Brands

Top five eyewear players gain share amidst COVID-19 pandemic
Further market consolidation post-COVID-19
Digitally-savvy and luxury players lead in company sales growth

Top Trends Shaping the Industry

COVID-19 has been a catalyst for change across eyewear

Top trends Shaping the Industry

Examining four trends shaping eyewear
Eyewear players to further expand their e-commerce capabilities
A mix of B2B and B2C digital tools support e-commerce growth
Remote eye care to become more common and legitimate
Omnichannel strategy e ssential to capture post-COVID-19 demand
Luxottica launches “ Smart Shopper” in optical stores in India
From sustainability to purpose: social issues surge thanks to COVID-19
EssilorLuxottica x Karan collaboration promotes “World Sight Day”
M&A and IPO activity surge as opportunities arise post-crisis

Global Outlook

The industry is not set to fully recover from the pandemic before 2025
E-commerce and tech innovations to flourish post-pandemic
Smart eyewear: the next big thing?
Digitalisation and consolidation will be key priorities

Market Snapshots

Global snapshot of spectacles
Global snapshot of sunglasses
Global snapshot of contact lenses and solutions
Regional snapshot: North America
Regional snapshot: Western Europe
Regional snapshot: Asia Pacific
Regional snapshot: Latin America
Regional snapshot: Eastern Europe
Regional snapshot: Middle East and Africa
Regional snapshot: Australasia




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