Nuremberg, 25 September 2015 – GfK has announced its latest sales figures for four key European optics markets: Italy, France, Spain and Germany.
Total turnover for these markets stands at €8.1 billion for the first half of 2015, a sales value growth of more than 4 percent compared to the previous year. The findings are published to coincide with the international SILMO 2015 trade fair in Paris.
GfK’s optics panel tracks sales data for sunglasses, frames, spectacle lenses, contact lenses and care products for contact lenses. The latest findings show an overall positive trend across the markets, although individual countries register varied performances.
Italy and Spain, for example, have turned around their negative performances of 2014 and close the first half of 2015 with sales value growth of +5 and +10 percent respectively, compared to the same period last year. This is mainly driven by the sunglasses category. Germany continues its robust growth with +7.6 percent sales value growth for the first half of 2015 versus the same period last year. However, France, which accounts for 36 percent of the market in terms of value, has pulled down the overall European performance with a flat trend of 0.9 percent growth for sales value.
The spectacle lenses and spectacle frames categories, which represent 80 percent of the overall optics market, have positively driven the performance of opticians in Europe with a combined sales value growth of +5.3 percent for the first half of this year. Contact lenses and care products (representing 10 percent of the total optics sales value) show more moderate growth of +2.9 percent. And, after two years of negative trends (-7 percent in first half of 2013 and -0.6 percent in the same period of 2014), the sunglasses market is now showing positive results, with an overall growth of 3.6 percent for the first half year.
“The positive turn seen in the sunglasses market has given a big boost to the overall optics sector. The eyewear market, in particular, has moved from a flat performance in the first half of 2014 (+0.1 percent versus same period in 2013) to overall growth of 4.7 percent in the first half of this year.” reports Gianni Cossar, global director of optics and eyewear research at GfK.
“This represents a change in the internal dynamics of the eyewear business. Up until last year, the market was polarized between the highest and lowest price segments, with the medium ranges drastically failing to perform. But in the first half of this year, the luxury segment stands alone in performing by far the best. Products priced over 280€, which account for 8 percent of the total eyewear market in value, show sales value growth of 11 percent compared to the first half of last year. In this respect, the eyewear market is acting very much like any other fashion market.”
Marion Starkman, GfK’s optics market expert for France, adds, “Looking at the French market in particular, the eyewear business saw a slightly negative trend from January to June this year, with a 0.3 percent decrease in value compared to the same period last year. This was largely due to the sunglasses sector, which suffered from the inclement weather conditions that prevailed at the beginning of the season.”
“The overall eyewear activity in France amounts to 935 million Euros for year to date, with more than 1300 brands competing locally. We are also seeing a very dynamic life cycle here, with more than 150 new branded players launching in France over the past 3 years – and facing the significant weight of the retailer’s own private labels.”
GfK has divided the eyewear category into 11 different segments, in order to underline the key growth contributors. At the end of June 2015, ‘Pure Optical Brands’ remains as the biggest segment, but decreased by 2.5 percent in volume compared to the same period last year. ‘Couture Brands’ is the second biggest segment in both volume and value, but is affected by the consumption slowdown in France, whereas the ‘Optical Designers’ and ‘Children’s Brands’ segments are showing as the more dynamic ones and are the current key growth drivers for opticians.
GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.