Mido Reports 59,500 in Attendance at 2019 Edition


Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

MILAN—The 49th edition of Mido closed earlier this week with organizers reporting attendance of 59,500, a slight increase in attendance from the prior year, attracting visitors from 159 countries to the three-day event, held here Feb. 23 through 25. “Eyewear is an Italian tradition that is now a leading global industry," stated Dario Galli, Italy’s vice minister of Economic Development, who was one of the dignitaries who visited the fair. He met with Mido and ANFAO president Giovanni Vitaloni during the show's BESTORE awards honoring optical stores from around the world, chosen from among the many candidates from 35 countries.

Argentina’s Infinit Eyewear received the BESTORE DESIGN award while Kite, located in Shoreditch in the heart of London, received the BESTORE INNOVATION award. The jury singled out Infinit Eyewear for the way its layout, materials, design and furnishings contribute to creating an unforgettable shopping experience for eyewear enthusiasts in Buenos Aires. The award to Kite based in Redchurch Street in London was based on the superb quality experience customers enjoy in this shop where they receive a one-on-one style consultation with an eyewear expert in their own booth, state-of-the-art eye exams and sip an exclusive Bompas & Parr coffee or drink at the Eyebar.

Research was also center stage at Mido 2019 with the presentation of key findings about the eyewear market, consumers, trends and designs. For Mido, global trend analyst and forecaster WGSN studied the evolution of styles and trends in eyewear delivered in the “Accessories and Eyewear Forecast” presentation. Two classic Mido surveys were also presented: the OMO-Optical Monitor, essential to understanding consumer behavior in the four global macro-markets, and Mido Outlook, a barometer of the eyewear market.

GFK unveiled the findings of the 9th Optical Monitor survey. The study examined eyewear purchase patterns and trends of nearly 5,000 consumers in China, Russia, the U.S. and Japan. Regarding purchase channels, data indicate that the lion’s share of shopping is still done offline; but, the popularity of online purchasing is growing across all continents and, above all, in Japan, where its growth is double-digit. Quality is the main driver for choice, the report said, while brand now plays a secondary role. Only in China, where consumers consider eyewear products true status symbols, is it still a key driver.

The 3rd edition of Mido Outlook took stock of the current global eyewear market and future expectations. The 1,320+ businesses surveyed in 98 countries by GRS viewed the current market as stable. On the brighter side, more than half the respondents (53 percent) expressed confidence in the future, especially in America and Oceania. Survey respondents viewed fiscal, bureaucratic, and regulatory issues, as well as retail prices and cost of labor, as the trickiest challenges they’re facing.

Exports remain a key factor for companies. Forty percent of them generate more than half of their income abroad (with Western Europe and America the top consumers). The U.S. is the foreign country with the most networks around the world, while China is considered the one with the greatest future potential. In-depth analysis of the market reveals that opticians remain the favored channel for connecting with clients, although future investments will increasingly focus on e-commerce.

Still speaking of distribution, private labels have cornered 35 percent of the market and are generally considered an attractive bet for the future. The area with the greatest expected market growth is IT systems for the eyewear world. Finally, with a view to staying abreast of the times, companies still consider trade shows the most effective tool for boosting their business (76 percent), followed by internet websites (66 percent) and social networks (55 percent).

This year's Mido exhibition was also accompanied by a surge in digital communications, as #LiveTheWonder of Mido was broadcast on MIDOTV, which this year produced some 130 videos live on YouTube, recording a total of 100 thousand views during the three days of the fair. The enthusiasm of exhibitors, visitors, media, bloggers and VIPs was captured with the hashtag # MIDO2019 and posts on Instagram and Facebook reached one million impressions, organizers said.

Organizers are now looking ahead to the historic milestone of the 50th edition of Mido in 2020, to be held Feb. 29 through March 2. "We are planning a busy program of events that will involve the entire industry: companies, opticians, buyers, media and institutions, to celebrate the golden edition worthily," stated Vitaloni, Mido president.

Look for more extended coverage of trends from Mido 2019 in upcoming editions of VMAIL.