Any accessory or product that can be worn over the eye and that the user can see through qualifies as eyewear. The global eyewear market includes the three major categories of spectacles, contact lenses, and sunglasses, or more specifically, plano sunglasses. Plano sunglasses are the ones that do not have a prescription lens in them. They are used for ocular protection against flying dirt and/or harmful UV rays, or for purely aesthetical purposes.
The global eyewear market is exhibiting a CAGR of 3.70% from 2012 to 2018. A total demand of more than 2.6 bn eyewear products was registered in 2011. From the point of view of revenue, the global eyewear market is expected to reach US$130 bn in 2018. It was valued at US$81 bn in 2011. The key players that have had a major impact on the global eyewear market so far are Essilor Int. and Carl Zeiss for spectacles; Bausch & Lomb, CIBA vision, CooperVision, and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care for contact lenses; Safilo and Luxottica for plano sunglasses. Other prominent companies in the global eyewear market are Vision Express, Specsavers Optical, Hoya Corp., De Rigo, Marchon Eyewear, and Fielmann.
Spectacles Dominate Global Eyewear Market
The global eyewear market can be segmented according to the type of eyewear in question. Among these, the market was dominated by spectacles, in terms of the spectacle frame as well as the spectacle lenses. This segment alone was valued at US$63 bn in 2011, owing mostly to the high number of individuals that require prescription glasses for correcting their eyesight. The number of people suffering from astigmatism, hyperopia, presbyopia, and myopia is expected to increase over the coming years. While the current demand for contact lenses is exceptionally low in comparison to spectacles, it is not expected to diminish any further soon. With advancements in technology and increasing awareness among spectacle users over the convenience of contact lenses, this segment is expected to increase in the near future.
North America Leads Global Eyewear Market
Of the major geographical segments of the global eyewear market, the market was dominated by North America in 2011 with a share of more than 30%. The North America eyewear market shows the largest percentage of consumption in the world, and further shows an increasing demand for contact lenses and sunglasses, which is expected to be the key growth driver for the region. From the perspective of revenue, however, the global eyewear market was led by Europe, which was accountable for more than 40.0% of the generated revenue in 2011.
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Rising Rate of Surgeries Restrains Global Eyewear Market
One of the greatest restraints on the global eyewear market is the rise in the number of people choosing optical surgeries to eliminate the need for lenses (including spectacles) for eyesight correction. The increasing number of refractive surgeries, especially LASIK, is reducing the need for spectacles, especially in developed nations. The economically forward regions exhibit a greater level of awareness about the availability of surgical procedures for eyesight correction, and can therefore opt for it. The global eyewear market is still maintaining profits, however, as a large population still finds these surgical procedures to be beyond their spending limit.
The global eyewear market is expected to shine in the premium eyewear category as the number of people with disposable incomes is increasing.