Milan, 06.03.2017

European optics market records over €17 billion in 2016

GfK’s sales tracking of four key European retail optics markets (Italy, France, Spain and Germany), shows a turnover of €17.6 billion for total year 2016. This is a sales value growth of 0.9 percent compared to the previous year. GfK released the findings at the international MIDO 2017 trade fair in Milan.

GfK tracks sales data in the optician channel for sunglasses, frames, spectacle lenses, contact lenses and solutions for contact lenses, via its GfK Optics Panel.

The four countries register varied performances in 2016: Italy and Germany drove the region’s overall growth with sales value increases of 3.4 percent and 2.7 percent respectively, compared to the same period last year. Spain, on the other hand, recorded a negative performance with a decrease of 2.6 percent. However, it was  France (which accounts for 38 percent of the European market’s value) that pulled down the region’s overall performance, with a flat trend of -0.5 percent for sales value.

Category overview

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 sales value growth of 0.9 percent and 2.2 respectively. Contact lenses and care products (representing 9 percent of the total optics sales value) show a modest growth of 0.3 percent. Despite a remarkable growth of 7.0 percent in 2015 versus 2014, the sunglasses category is the only negative market this year, with a decline of 1.3 percent versus 2015.

“The European eyewear market is showing many interesting styles developments and dynamics, among which the ‘combination’ sector (plastic and metal together) is the fastest growing, standing at over 50 percent growth compared to 2015”, says Francesco Foffa, GfK Senior Global Product Manager for Optics.

“Spectacle Lenses market growth is driven by premium products in which innovation is influencing the performance more and more positively. Looking at market segments, the constant growth of organic progressive lenses (+4.6 percent in EU4) and high refraction index lenses is key to sustaining the overall category growth”.

“In the European contact lenses market we have witnessed a growth of the daily segment, which is now giving its own positive contribution not only in the spherical part of the business, but also via smaller and more technical sides of the market such as the astigmatism and multifocal”.

“The industry is currently going through an important process of consolidation, as well as of vertical integration - both at manufacturers & retail level”, comments Gianni Cossar, GfK’s Global Director for Optics and Eyewear. “GfK is currently supporting leading players within the Optics industry in over 28 countries. Not only have we expanded our presence in emerging regions such as India, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia., but we have also further consolidated operations in Europe and South America by expanding into the Czech Republic and Chile”.

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