The eyewear industry, a fusion of fashion and function, has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a basic tool for vision correction. Eyewear, a quintessential accessory that combines both practicality and style, boasts a rich history and a dynamic market that continues to thrive in today's global landscape. The earliest known evidence of eyewear dates back to the Roman Empire, where emerald lenses were used to protect the eyes from harmful glare. Since then, eyewear has evolved from a basic utility for vision correction to a sophisticated industry that encompasses a plethora of designs, materials, and technologies. The eyewear market remains a key player in the fashion, health, and lifestyle sectors. Notably, the market is fuelled by diverse consumer preferences, including individuals with visual impairments, fashion-conscious consumers seeking statement pieces, and athletes in need of specialized eyewear for sports and outdoor activities. Today, eyewear has become an essential part of many people's daily lives, serving not only as a tool for vision correction but also as a fashion statement, reflecting one's personality, style, and lifestyle. Consumer preferences and behaviours play a crucial role in shaping the eyewear industry. In addition to vision correction, consumers now consider factors such as style, comfort, and brand reputation when choosing eyewear. Fashion-conscious consumers seek eyewear that complements their personal style, with frames available in various shapes, colors, and materials to suit individual preferences. Celebrities and influencers also influence consumer choices, as their eyewear choices often set fashion trends.
According to the research report, "Global Eyewear Market Research Report, 2028", published by Actual Market Research the market is anticipated to reach USD more than 180 Billion by 2028 with a significant CAGR of 6.49% from USD 125.11 Billion in 2022. The increasing population and rising prevalence of optical deficiencies are some key factors anticipated to fuel the global eyewear market over the forecast period. Also, rising awareness among consumers regarding the significance of eye examinations along with increasing purchasing capabilities of consumers is further projected to create impetus in the global eyewear market over the forecast period. In addition, the rising prevalence of myopia or near-sightedness among children and adults owing to environmental and genetic factors is expected to increase the demand for prescription eyeglasses over the forecast period. Moreover, changing lifestyles and technological advancements are also leading to exposure to electronic devices such as tablets and smartphones which cause strain on the eyes. Furthermore, awareness among consumers regarding the significance of efficient eye protection is anticipated to propel the overall sales of eyewear products over the forecast period. Increasing per capita disposable income among distinct demographic sections has led sunglasses and spectacle frames to be used as fashion accessories. Eyewear vendors are focusing on introducing innovative eyewear products to suit different consumer preferences and needs. The introduction of relatively cheaper, soft, and daily disposable lenses with easy maintenance and cleaning features is a majorly preferred product among consumers. However, the increasing inclination of consumers toward eye treatments and surgeries is expected to hinder the growth of the global eyewear market over the forecast period.
Based on the report, the market is segmented into five major regions including North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America and Middle East & Africa. Among them, North America is leading the market in 2022 with more than 35% market share. The North American eyewear market is driven by a high demand for fashionable and premium eyewear. The United States has a significant population of aging baby boomers, driving the demand for vision correction products such as reading glasses, progressive lenses, and multifocal contact lenses. The North American eyewear market has witnessed a rise in the popularity of direct-to-consumer (DTC) eyewear brands, offering affordable and stylish eyewear options through online channels. The United States is the dominant market in the region, with a strong presence of major eyewear brands and a growing focus on innovative eyewear technologies such as smart glasses and virtual reality eyewear. Also, the country is home to some of the world's leading eyewear brands, including Luxottica Group, which owns popular brands such as Ray-Ban and Oakley, and EssilorLuxottica, which is a major player in the prescription lens market. However, the Asia-Pacific eyewear market is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world, comprising countries such as China, Japan, India, and South Korea. It is characterized by a rising middle class, changing fashion trends, and increasing urbanization. China is the largest market for eyewear in Asia-Pacific, and the country has emerged as a major hub for eyewear manufacturing due to its low-cost labor and production capabilities. Many global eyewear brands have set up manufacturing facilities in China to cater to the growing demand. On the other hand, Japan is known for its advanced eyewear technologies and craftsmanship, with a focus on high-quality materials, precision engineering, and cutting-edge designs. Japanese eyewear brands are renowned for their attention to detail and commitment to perfection.
The European eyewear market is known for its premium eyewear brands and fashionable designs. Countries such as Italy, France, and Germany are key players in the region, with a long history of producing high-quality eyewear. For instance, Italy is renowned for its luxury eyewear brands, with a reputation for exquisite craftsmanship, innovative designs, and the use of high-quality materials such as acetate and metal. Italy, particularly the region of Veneto, is known as the "eyewear capital of the world" due to its long-standing tradition of producing premium eyewear brands and hosting major eyewear trade shows such as Mido and MIDOcarnival. France is also known for its fashion-forward eyewear designs, with a focus on chic and sophisticated styles. French luxury fashion houses often collaborate with eyewear brands to create unique and exclusive eyewear collections. The region is a mature and well-established eyewear market and known for its rich history in eyewear manufacturing and design, with a focus on high-quality, luxury eyewear. Further, the Middle East and Africa eyewear market is characterized by a rising population, increasing disposable incomes, and changing lifestyle preferences. The Middle East has a growing demand for luxury eyewear brands, with consumers seeking high-end eyewear options that reflect their affluent lifestyle and fashion-forward tastes. Eyewear is often considered a fashion statement in the region, with a focus on premium materials, unique designs, and embellishments. Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, is known for its luxury eyewear retail landscape, with high-end boutiques and flagship stores of major luxury eyewear brands. As for the South America, the market is characterized by a growing demand for affordable eyewear options, with countries such as Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina being major markets in the region. Brazil, in particular, is known for its vibrant eyewear culture, with unique and colourful eyewear designs that reflect the country's rich cultural diversity. The country hosts the annual South American Optics and Optometry Congress (CLOO), which is one of the largest eyewear trade shows in the region.
Based on the product type, this market can be segmented into spectacles, sunglasses, contact lenses and others. The spectacles segment was estimated to hold the major share in the overall market in 2022. The segment is projected to maintain its dominating position at the end of the forecast period. This trend is owing to the increasing prevalence of myopia and hypermetropia. Additionally, the rising lucrative product offering by major players in the market is estimated to further augment the segment’s growth. In Asia Pacific and South America, there is an increasing demand for contact lenses which is estimated to boost the contact lens segment’s growth. There is also a high unmet demand for sunglasses in the countries of South America and the Middle East and Africa. The players operating in the sunglasses market are increasing their customer base by tapping into online channels and offering lucrative pricing. Due to the increasing population and declining number of people opting for LASIK and contact lenses in the United States, the total population of adults wearing prescription spectacles has increased in the past few years. There is also a surge in the adoption of trendy frames in developed countries as a fashion accessory. This trend is estimated to boost the value during the forecast period. Further, medium-priced eyewear segment is leading the market in 2022 as they offer a balance between quality and affordability. It is often more affordable than high-end luxury eyewear brands, making it accessible to a larger consumer base. Many consumers are willing to invest in eyewear that provides good quality, durability, and style at a reasonable price point.
The eyewear market has witnessed significant trends and innovations in recent years, shaping the industry's landscape and consumer preferences. One of the notable trends is the increasing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly eyewear. With growing awareness about environmental issues, consumers are seeking eyewear made from sustainable materials such as recycled plastic, bamboo, and wood. Additionally, many eyewear brands are incorporating eco-friendly practices in their manufacturing processes, including the use of water-based adhesives, natural dyes, and biodegradable packaging. Another trend is the fusion of fashion and technology in eyewear. Smart eyewear, such as smart glasses and augmented reality (AR) glasses, are gaining traction in the market. These eyewear not only provide vision correction but also offer additional features such as GPS navigation, fitness tracking, and hands-free communication. Additionally, 3D printing technology has revolutionized eyewear manufacturing, allowing for customizable frames and personalized designs. Innovations in lens technology have also been significant. High-definition (HD) lenses offer improved clarity and visual performance, while blue light-blocking lenses reduce eye strain from digital screens. Photochromic lenses, which darken when exposed to sunlight, provide convenience for outdoor activities, and polarized lenses reduce glare for improved vision in bright conditions. With the proliferation of digital screens and increased screen time, the demand for blue light blocking eyewear has surged. Blue light emitted from screens can cause digital eye strain, disrupted sleep patterns, and potential long-term eye health issues. As a result, consumers are increasingly seeking eyewear that filters out blue light to protect their eyes from digital screen-related discomforts.
Further, according to the report, the market is categorized into various distribution channels including hypermarket/supermarket, specialty stores (optical stores), franchises/ company outlets, online stores and others (hospitals & clinics). Among them, specialty stores (optical stores) and franchises/ company outlets accounts for more than 70% market share in 2022. Optical stores are brick-and-mortar retail stores that specialize in selling eyewear, including prescription glasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses. These stores often have trained opticians who can provide eye exams and help customers find the right eyewear based on their prescription and style preferences. Optical stores often carry a wide range of eyewear brands, from affordable options to high-end luxury brands. Some optical stores also offer customization options such as lens coatings, frame adjustments, and personalized fittings to enhance the overall customer experience. Also, specialty stores often carry unique and innovative eyewear designs that cater to specific purposes, such as sports performance, outdoor activities, or fashion-forward trends. They may also provide specialized fittings, lens technologies, and customization options to meet the specific requirements of their target customers. However, online stores have gained significant traction in the eyewear market, allowing customers to shop for eyewear from the comfort of their own homes. These online stores typically offer a wide selection of eyewear options, including prescription glasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses, with the convenience of online browsing and purchasing. Online eyewear retailers often use virtual try-on technologies, where customers can upload their photos or use their device's camera to virtually try on different eyewear styles and see how they would look before making a purchase. This has become a popular feature that enhances the online shopping experience for eyewear consumers.
Recent Product Launches:
• Apple is reportedly working on a pair of smart glasses that will offer augmented reality (AR) capabilities. The glasses are expected to integrate with Apple's ecosystem of devices and services, providing users with a seamless AR experience. The product is expected to launch in 2023.
• Prada launched the Cin?ma Evolution eyewear collection in 2022, featuring a range of sunglasses and optical frames with a retro-inspired design. The collection features unique frame shapes, bold colors, and sophisticated details, showcasing Prada's commitment to innovation and style in the eyewear industry.
• Oakley introduced the Kato sunglasses in 2021, featuring a futuristic design with a wrap-around shield lens and adjustable features for a customizable fit. The Kato sunglasses are aimed at athletes and outdoor enthusiasts, offering high-performance features and cutting-edge design.
• Gucci unveiled its first-ever eyewear collection called "Gucci Spectacles" in 2020. The collection features a wide range of sunglasses and optical frames that embody Gucci's signature style, with bold shapes, luxurious materials, and iconic design elements, showcasing the brand's commitment to fashion-forward eyewear.
• Nike and luxury streetwear brand Off-White™ collaborated on an eyewear collection in 2019, featuring sunglasses and optical frames with a unique blend of sporty and high-fashion aesthetics. The collection incorporates innovative materials, bold color combinations, and distinctive design elements, showcasing the creative partnership between the two brands in the eyewear industry.