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Opticians & Optical Goods - Market Assessment
Bharatbook.com launches a new report which provides an analysis of the opticians and optical goods market, which includes spectacles, contact lenses and solutions, laser eye treatment, private sight tests and general ophthalmic services.
By: Mrunal Gore
Executive Summary:This Key Note Market Assessment report provides an analysis of the opticians and optical goods market, which includes spectacles, contact lenses and solutions, laser eye treatment, private sight tests and general ophthalmic services. It updates a previous Opticians & Optical Goods Market Assessment report published in 2006.
The spectacles sector has shown steady growth in value since 2003, due to increases in the number of sight tests taken and the various sales promotions undertaken. However, the sector remains highly competitive, and a number of the leading chains are currently and actively promoting their economically priced range of spectacles. The leading suppliers of spectacles and frames include: Carl Zeiss/SOLA; Essilor; Luxottica; Rodenstock; Safilo; Silhouette; and the UK-based Norville.
Changes made in 2005 to the 1989 UK Opticians Act — which allowed contact lenses to be supplied under the `general direction' of a qualified practitioner, rather than requiring the `supervision' of sales — continue to have an impact on the market. The changes opened up the retail market for contact lenses to an extended range of sellers, including the major supermarket chains and online retailers, for which price is a major selling point. The supply of contact lenses and solutions continues to be concentrated in the hands of a few large US multinationals, including Johnson & Johnson, Bausch & Lomb, CooperVision, Advanced Medical Optics and Alcon Laboratories. Swiss-owned CIBA VISION is one of Europe's leading suppliers, and daysoft is one of the leading UK suppliers.
The laser eye-treatment sector received a boost in March 2006 when the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued guidance that laser eye surgery was safe enough and sufficiently effective to be carried out on appropriately selected patients. Since then, the number of clinics offering laser eye surgery has increased and the three market leaders in the sector — Optical Express, Optimax and Ultralase — have all announced plans to increase further the number of clinics they operate.
The retail environment in the opticians market remains highly competitive, and expansion and consolidation remain key features. For example, Specsavers has recently opened its 1,000th outlet worldwide; and in May 2008, Vision Express acquired the GC Bateman Group of opticians (Batemans Opticians). Tesco has announced plans to double its number of in-store optician practices during 2008, and Black & Lizars, a Scotland-based optician company, aims to almost treble the number of stores it operates following its acquisition in April 2008 by a consortium of European investors.
Almost two-thirds of the world's population are thought to need corrective eyewear, although little more than a quarter of the global population wear glasses. The highest wearer rates are in the developed markets of North America, Europe and Japan, whereas in other parts of the world, including Asia-Pacific, wearer rates are considerably lower. Much of the future potential for the corrective eyewear industry lies in developing the markets in Asia-Pacific.
In original consumer research commissioned exclusively by Key Note for this report, 89.6% of adults said that knowledgeable staff and a clean and tidy environment were important to them in choosing an optician. The survey also found that a substantial percentage of respondents felt that price was the most important factor when choosing an optician. An increasing proportion of adults are put off from having their eyes tested regularly because of the eye-test fee.
The UK opticians and optical goods market is expected to remain highly competitive over the next 5 years (to 2012), with the impact of the `credit crunch', and its effects on retail sales in general, expected to have some negative consequences in the short term. Nevertheless, the value of the sector is projected to show steady growth over the forecast period from 2008 to 2012 — with further consolidation within the opticians sector and increasing competition from the multiples and online eyewear sellers being expected to place more pressure on the smaller optician chains and the independent opticians.
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