U.S. Vision Market Continues Upward Trend in 2011, VisionWatch Survey Says
ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The U.S. economy isn’t the only thing that seems to be stabilizing as numbers for the vision care industry indicate an upward trajectory as well. Total U.S. revenue at retail of all vision care products and services generated during the 2011 calendar year grew to $32.8 billion, representing an increase of almost 3 percent from 2010 when revenue hit $31.9 billion, according to VisionWatch, the large scale continuous research study conducted by The Vision Council.
Overall units for complete eyeglasses (frames and lenses) sold increased marginally, with less than 1 percent gains in both frame and lens sales during the year-ending period December 2011. However, in dollar revenue terms, there was a healthy growth of 3 percent for frames and 1 percent in the lens market. Approximately 67.1 million pairs of frames were sold during the year-ending period December 2011, worth $8.4 billion at the retail level. During the same period, approximately 75 million pairs of Rx lenses were sold, worth $9.6 billion at the retail level.
Over-the-counter reader usage also showed signs of growth in the year-ending period December 2011, with 27.2 million adults, or 11 percent of the population, reporting wearing them—representing an increase of almost 3 percent from 2010 usage rates. Sales in dollars of readers rose by almost 2 percent in 2011, generating $741 million in sales revenue while unit pairs sold held steady at close to 44 million.
Dollar sales of plano (non Rx) sunglasses increased almost 5 percent in the year-ending period December 2011—the highest growth rate since the recession started, to close out the year at $3.4 billion for 92.2 million pairs sold. This increase was attributed entirely to rising prices in the sunglass market as the number of units sold did not change from 2010, according to the study.
Finally, contact lens usage increased during the year-ending period December 2011, with an additional 2 million adult consumers (particularly among women, 18 to 34 years old, and adults from lower income households) using them compared to 2010. During 2011, total sales for contact lenses increased by 6 percent, generating more than $3.7 billion in sales revenue at the retail level.
Data in this article was compiled from VisionWatch, the large scale continuous research study conducted by The Vision Council. VisionWatch contains industry data on lenses, frames, sunglasses, reading glasses, contact lenses, eye exams and refractive surgery. For additional information or to purchase a copy of the study , contact Ashley Danchuk at (703) 740-2251.
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