Eyewear is an important accessory that aid in numerous visual defects such as myopia and hyperopia. Apart from this, it is used as a fashion accessory and for protection against sunlight and harmful U.V. radiations. Eyeglasses are also used in industries for protection against debris and for welding, in order for protection against high intensity light and heat. Factors such as acute myopia at a younger age and rising awareness about eye health are expected to drive growth of the eyewear market over the forecast period. For instance, according to WHO in 2017, around 253 million people had vision impairment of which 36 million were blind and 217 million had moderate to severe vision impairment, globally. The increasing use of computers and smartphones results has resulted in rising cases of Computer vision syndrome (CVS) caused due to focusing the eyes on a computer or other display device for long. This is expected to be another factor driving the growth of the eyewear market. Apart from this the changing fashion trends and availability of new lens technologies is expected to drive the growth of the market. For instance Chinese police have launched sunglasses with built-in facial recognition which are still in their testing stages. These factors are expected to drive the growth of the global eyewear market
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However, rising awareness and implementation of techniques for vision correction such as LASIK (Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis) in addition to PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) are major restraints that could hamper growth of the global eyewear market.
Specialty stores segment dominated the global eyewear market and is expected to continue its dominance over the forecast period. This is owing to specialty stores being the most preferred channel for end users to purchase spectacles, as they receive a wide range of services at these stores that include eye examination tests apart from services such as consultation from professional optometrists. However, online channel segment is expected to be the fastest growing segment over the forecast period. Eyewear manufacturers are focusing on offering their products through online distribution channels such as Lenskart and KREWE, in order to enhance their online presence and expand customer base. These distribution channels enable manufacturers to offer a large product portfolio along with the option of instant testing and receiving immediate feedback of the customers.
Europe was the most dominant market in terms of revenue share in 2016 and is expected to continue its dominance over the forecast period. European market was valued at over US$ 32.15 billion in 2016, due to high demand for eyewear, especially for premium sunglasses coupled with the presence of major eyewear manufacturers such as Luxottica and Safilo in Europe. End-users are increasing adopting scratch proof, Anti-Reflective, and UV protection eyewear resulting in an increasing demand for eyewear in this region. Moreover, major eyewear manufacturers such as Luxottica and Safilo are based in Europe, which is another factor for the dominance of the region. Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest growing region in the eyewear market, witnessing a CAGR of 8.63% over the forecast period. The reason for the same is due to the rising penetration of international eyewear brands such as Rayban, Dior and D&G amongst others in the Asia Pacific region. Apart from this the large population suffering from visual defects coupled with a low usage of any visual correction aids provides the manufacturers with a huge untapped market. For instance according to the Asia Pacific Optometrists Organization, India in 2014 approximately 153 million people in India required spectacles but do not have access to them.
Among product types, spectacles is the dominant segment and accounted for 48.62% of the market share in 2016 and is expected to increase to 49.32% by 2025. Rising geriatric population and increasing prevalence of visual disorders are major factors expected to drive demand for spectacles. For instance, according to the WHO, about half of all 65-year-old Americans had some degree of cataract formation in their eyes with the percentage higher among 70 year olds in 2016. The WHO estimates around 2 billion people across the world are expected to cross 60 years of age by 2050, which is triple than in 2000. This is expected to lead to rising demand for spectacles. This could be a major driver for growth of the spectacles segment.
Companies are adopting various organic and inorganic growth strategies in order to increase their share. For instance, in January 2017, Essilor International SA and Luxottica Group S.p.A entered into merger agreement, in order to improve its position in the global eyewear market.
Some of the major market players operating in the eyewear market include Luxottica Group S.p.A, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., Fielmann A.G., CooperVision Inc., Safilo Group S.p.A., Carl Zeiss A.G. and Essilor International among others.
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