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In addition to long-term socio-demographic changes, the global eyewear market is experiencing a number of product-driven trends. These include:
Shift to higher value eyewear products
Increasing awareness and penetration of technical innovations in the eyewear market is contributing to a greater demand for higher value eyewear products. Innovations relate to the quality of lens material as well as to functionality and design features (e.g., progressive, individualized lens designs, improved fields of vision, light, thin, antireflective, shockproof, photochromatic, scratch resistant, anti-dirt and anti-fog, polarized and ultraviolet protective lenses). In addition, the need for vision correction increases in complexity as a person ages.
Growth of the contact lens category
The global market for contact lenses and especially disposable contact lenses is increasing, also due to their inherently shorter repurchase cycle. However, sales of contact lenses as a proportion of total eyewear sales still vary considerably across different markets. The average annual spend for contact lenses is higher per customer than it is for prescription eyeglasses. In addition, contact lens customers also tend to purchase prescription glasses and sunglasses. Furthermore, consumer engagement is generally higher for contact lenses, which also increases the potential for customer engagement and loyalty.
Demand for quality sunglasses
The current penetration of eyesight protection from ultraviolet radiation is relatively low in both mature and emerging markets. The growth of the sunglass market is driven by an increased awareness of the harm caused by ultraviolet radiation, an increased demand for prescription sunglasses, and the increased popularity of sunglasses as a fashion item. As this awareness increases, it is expected that demand for high quality sunglasses, including ultraviolet protective prescription sunglasses, such as those offered by GrandVision under its Solaris banner, will also grow. The shift to quality sunglasses and the constant innovation of both design and lenses, including light weight and polarized lenses, contribute to a shorter average repurchase cycle of sunglasses.