Latest VisionWatch Consumer Barometer Shows 3.9 Percent Increase in Vision Care Market

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The latest VisionWatch Consumer Barometer, covering the 12-month period ending June 2013, reflects a 3.9 percent overall increase in revenues for vision care products and services in the U.S. compared to the prior year period.

The total vision care market, as defined by The Vision Council’s VisionWatch survey, reached $35.47 billion in the 12-month period, and includes dollars spent at retail at all retail types at any retail location and spent on the sale of either spectacle lenses (including Rx Sun), frames, contact lenses, plano sunglasses, OTC readers or revenue earned by refractive surgery or eye examinations. The number does not include sunglass clips and reflects the dollars spent by U.S. adults ages 18 and over.

The report shows an increase in Rx spectacle lens sales of 6.0 percent to $10.85 billion in that 12-month period, while frame sales at retail rose 2.7 percent in dollars to $8.77 billion during the year ending June. Contact lens sales, in dollars, climbed 5.9 percent to $4.1 billion in that period while plano sunglasses increased 4.0 percent in retail dollars to $3.61 billion.

Also during the 12 months ending June, VisionWatch reported that eye exam revenues reached $5.34 billion, up 2 percent from the year ago period. The number of eye exams for refraction conducted within the last six months for the period ending June 2013 was 50.8 million, per the Consumer Barometer, compared to 49.9 million for the six-month period ending June, 2012. Independents conducted 68.2 percent of the eye exams in the six months ending June, even with the prior year’s six-month period ending in June 2012. Chains conducted 31.8 percent of the eye exams for the six months ending June, 2013, versus 32.0 percent for the six months ending June, 2012.

The Eyeglass Future Purchase Intent Index, which reflects consumers’ saying they are “likely to purchase within the next six months,” reached 107 for the six months ending June 2013, up slightly from 106 for the six months ending June, 2012.

More detail on the Consumer Barometer is available from The Vision Council and from Steve Kodey, director of research at Additional reports are now also available for Vision Council members for the Q2 period. ■