Latest Consumer Barometer Shows Total U.S. Vision Care Revenues Increase 2.2 Percent, Exams Remain Steady for 12ME September 2011

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Consumers’ future purchasing intent
for prescription eyeglasses for the six months from April to September 2011 increased.
NEW YORK—The total U.S. vision care market’s revenues increased 2.2 percent for the 12 months ending September 2011 to $32.5 billion compared to $31.8 billion in the prior year 12-month period, according to the newly-released Q3 Consumer Barometer. A top-line view of vision care services and eyeglass purchasing trends among consumers across the U.S. by VisionWatch, the study is conducted by The Vision Council.

Not only did revenues for the total vision care market increase, but most product market segments saw gains as well. According to the Barometer, dollar sales of frames at retail also gained for the 12-month period, increasing 2.2 percent; frames comprise 25.5 percent of current vision care market sales at retail. The contact lens market showed a healthy increase of 5.3 percent for the 12 months ending September 2011; contact lenses comprise 11.6 percent of current vision care market sales at retail. Other sectors showing sizeable gains included sunglasses, growing by 3.2 percent, and readers with a 1.9 percent increase, both over the same 12-month period a year ago. The lens market held steady, showing only a 0.9 percent increase for the 12-month period as compared to a year ago.

Growth of eye exams, which had showed gains in both the first and second quarters of 2011 as compared to similar periods in 2010, were down slightly in comparison and remained flat for the 12-month period ending September 2011, at 48.2 million, the same number of eye exams as compared to the 12-month period a year ago.

Consumers’ future purchasing intent for prescription eyeglasses for the six months from April to September 2011, increased its score to 104, a gain from purchasing intent index levels in the April to September 2010 period with a score of 92.

Data in the Barometer is compiled from VisionWatch, the large scale continuous research study conducted by the Vision Council. The complete Q3 Consumer Barometer, which shows updated info on sales in frames, lenses, contact lenses, sunglasses, readers, eye exams and refractive surgery, is available from the The Vision Council.