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26.09.2016 – 10:13


European Optics Market Records Over EUR8.8 Billion Turnover in the First Half of 2016

Nuremberg, Germany (ots/PRNewswire)

- GfK announces the latest figures at SILMO 2016

GfK has announced the latest sales figures for four key European optics markets: Italy, France, Spain and Germany. Total turnover for these markets stands at EUR8.8 billion for the first half of 2016, registering a sales value growth of 2.8 percent compared to the previous year. Key figures were presented today in Paris at the SILMO 2016 international exhibition.

GfK's Optics Panel tracks sales data for sunglasses, frames, spectacle lenses, contact lenses and care products for contact lenses.

The overall positive performance of the European market is the result of mixed trends registered in each country: ranging from +4.7 percent in Germany to the quite flat performance of Spain (+0.9 percent). France (+2.2 percent) and Italy (+2.4 percent) came in-between, with a performance in line with the European average.

The German market growth has been generated by the spectacle lenses and spectacle frames categories, which account for 87.6 percent of the entire market, off-setting sunglasses, which delivered a particularly negative trend.

The negative performance of sunglasses (-7.5 percent) is the main reason behind the overall flat performance of the Spanish market, which was nonetheless quite positive in categories such as spectacle lenses (+3.8 percent) and contact lenses and care products (+2.8 percent).

France is the most negative market for contact lenses and care products (down 2.8 percent), but the three percent increase in spectacle lenses - a category that represents 60.9 percent of the total optics market in France - resulted in an overall positive trend for the entire local market.

And finally, Italy is the only country that showed positive growth in each single segment of the market, as well as being the country showing the highest growth for spectacle frames (5.4 percent).

French optics market

Marion Starkman, GfK's optics market expert for France, adds, "Looking at the French market in particular, the eyewear business market has moved from a negative performance in value in the first half of 2015 (-0.6 percent versus same period in 2014) to overall growth of 1.6 percent in the first half of this year. This is a promising trend, given the inclement weather conditions that prevailed at the beginning of the sunglasses season this year."

The overall eyewear activity in France amounts to 1.1 billion Euros for the year to date, with more than 1,300 brands competing locally. Starkman continues, "We are seeing a very dynamic life cycle here, with more than 100 new branded players launched in France over the past 2 years. The competition is fiercer than ever between brands, and even more if we take into account retailers' own private labels."

GfK has divided the eyewear category into 10 different segments, in order to underline the key growth contributors. At the end of June 2016, 'Pure Optical Brands' remains the biggest segment, growing by three percent in volume compared to the same period last year. 'Luxury & Couture Brands' is the second biggest segment in both volume and value, and is back into positive trends after having been dismissed by consumers in 2015. Lastly, 'Optical Designers Brands' continues to show very dynamics trends, as it is the fastest growing segment for the year to date.

Starkman comments, "This case study underlines the different dynamics between target groups, and we believe specialization could be a key lever for opticians, to drive growth on a constantly evolving sector."

EU category overview

The spectacle lenses and spectacle frames categories, which represent 79.8 percent of the overall optics market, have positively contributed to the performance of opticians in Europe - with sales value growths of 3.9 percent and 3.6 percent respectively for the first half of 2016. Sales of contact lenses and care products (representing 9.7 percent of the total optics sales value) were almost flat (-0.2 percent). The sunglasses market is now back to an overall negative trend (-1.8 percent) after a year of growth.

For both spectacle lenses and frames, the premium segment (products costing over 200 Euros) performed the best during the first part of 2016. Spectacle lenses registered 9.6 percent growth and represents 17 percent of this market, while, for spectacle frames, the premium segment grew 3.7 percent, accounting for 8.8 percent of the sales.

For spectacle lenses, this positive performance is thanks to a double-digit growth of progressive lenses (12 percent).

Looking at the trends around new designs within frames, GfK's figures show that the premium segment's growth is driven by lighter materials and thinner shapes, with plastic/metal remaining the preferred combination (>40 percent).

For sunglasses, the premium segment (where women's models represent 60 percent of sales) is, by contrast, quite flat (-1 percent).

Monthly expenditure for contact lenses costing over 22 Euros has risen due to the continuous growth of daily and daily silicone hydrogel lenses. At the same time, weekly and monthly replacement lenses have shown growth more in the area of 'bargain' or low cost lenses.

More in-depth analysis is now available via GfK's tracking of contact lens fitting activities at Optician stores across several countries.

For more information, visit or


Chiara Gallina
Marketing & Communication
T +39-02-8705-3340

Original content of: GfK SE, transmitted by news aktuell

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