Latest Consumer Barometer Reflects Increases in Sunglass and Eyeglass Sales

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ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The latest information on eyeglass frames and sunglasses purchases and consumer sentiment for future purchases points to continued growth, according to the latest Consumer Barometer for the 12-month period ending June 2012 which reflects sharp growth in sunglass sales at retail and increases in eyeglass frame sales as well.

The Barometer was recently released by The Vision Council which also issues VisionWatch reports, which detail overall sales volume for the year period. U.S. eyeglass frame sales rose over 3 percent from 2011 for the year ending June, to $8.5 billion. Sunglass retail sales performed even better, the report said, growing nearly 7 percent, to $3.5 billion. Sales of higher end sunglasses, costing more than $50, accounted for most of that growth with unit sales up 7 percent and the total dollar volume growing by almost 9 percent to $2.3 billion.

Future sales prospects look equally positive as adults surveyed increasingly indicated higher levels of intent to purchase eyeglasses and sunglasses costing more than $50.

For eyeglasses, 24 percent of adult eyeglass users indicated they were extremely or very likely to make a purchase within the next six months. Compared to 2010, when consumer intent reached its bottom, current purchase intent is 7 percent higher and more than 1 percent higher than in June 2011, the report indicated.

Intent grew the most for three groups in particular, 18 to 34 year olds, those living in the Midwest and those with incomes under $60,000. Current intent to purchase is highest among 45 to 54 year olds, where 28 percent are planning a purchase within the next six months. Among adults with some form of managed vision care coverage, 30 percent reported a purchase to be likely.

The outlook for sunglass sales is even brighter, with intent 5 percent higher than last year and 40 percent higher than in June 2010. A full 13 percent of U.S. adults reported being extremely or very likely to make a sunglass purchase costing more than $50 in the next six months.

This info and other industry data on lenses, frames, sunglasses, reading glasses, contact lenses, eye exams and refractive surgery are included in both The Vision Council June 2012 Consumer Barometer and VisionWatch, the large scale continuous research study conducted by The Vision Council. Members of The Vision Council can download and access reports for free. More details are available from Shawn Shafer at (703) 740-2252.