Eyewear is corrective or protective devices worn for the eyes. They are used to correct poor vision due to eye disorders or protect the eyes from UV rays, dust, and external contaminants. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 246 million people worldwide suffered from poor vision in 2014. This outlines the massive scope of this market. Also, decorative eyewear among the urban youth has also boosted the eyewear market.
The major drivers for the eyewear market are an increasing incidence of eye disorders which can be attributed to increased exposure to electronic devices. Also, increased awareness and rural initiatives regarding eye health has contributed to eyewear market growth. The restraint is the growing popularity of corrective eye surgeries is the restraint for the eyewear market. Although, public acceptance is trifling due to the high cost of surgery.
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In hydrogel lenses, the major component is water, with 70% water in soft lenses. The advantages of these lenses over glass and plastic lenses are that they comfort and convenience. The lenses can be worn for a long time without any discomfort.
The dominant distribution channel is brick and mortar. Customers prefer a tactile experience for buying eyewear to gauge the product’s quality. Although, online eyewear market places have gained acceptance in current times. For instance, Lenskart is a popular Indian eyewear marketplace which operates in both brick & mortar and online portals.
Global Eyewear Market Outlook
Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing market for eyewear in the forecast period. The WHO estimates that, 1/3rd of the Indian population is visually impaired and requires some form of eye correction measure. Although, most cases go untreated, due to the paucity of ophthalmologists in the country. In China, urbanization has exposed youngsters to electronics which has resulted in a high incidence of myopia. According to Chinese government controlled Xinhua News Agency, 86% of high school students in Shanghai suffer from near sightedness.
Europe and North America have large geriatric population which has boosted the eyewear market in these regions. According to the Population Reference Bureau, Statistics Canada and EU, the geriatric populations in these regions are 51 million in North America and 94 million in, Europe which has boosted the eyewear industry.
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A lack of eye care specialists in Africa and Latin America has resulted in eye defects going undiagnosed. According to WHO, 80% of all impairments in Africa are treatable by minor surgery or corrective eyewear.
Middle East region has high disposable incomes in the GCC countries and Israel. This has resulted in the demand for luxury eyewear brands for both prescription and non-prescription purposes. High value brands are in high demand among the rich populations of UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrain.
Google Glass is a type of eyewear, which acts as a head mounted display. The wearable eyewear has potential applications in journalism, military, film making, and healthcare. Major players on in the global eyewear market are Luxottica, Safilo, Marchon, Charmant, Marcolin, and De Rigo.