April 2, 2022

More than 4 billion people around the world use eyewear in any form. With these numbers estimated to increase, the eyeglasses & sunglasses business is deemed highly profitable throughout the decade.

But are there any challenges to the eyewear market in the long run? How is the industry managing to recover from the wrath of the COVID? This article explains the essential numbers from the comprehensive market statistics alongside the comparison of key eyewear segments in 2022:

Eyewear Industry in View of COVID-19

It’s been over 2 years since the novel coronavirus hit the world with all its might. As the pandemic surged, restrictions were imposed and the inevitable happened. Businesses around the world halted and markets plunged. The same went on with the eyewear market, so much so that the global eyewear industry recorded a 13.3% decrease in revenue growth for 2020.

The challenges posed by the pandemic, however, seem to settle down now with the easing restrictions. The resumption of life, as we knew it before the pandemic, is significantly increasing consumer demand and causing a boom in sales. Revival of social & sports events and opening of the eye clinics has also rejuvenated the trend of both prescription and non-prescription glasses.

Eyewear Industry Revenue: Worldwide in 2022

As evident by various forecast studies in 2020, the eyewear market exhibited an upswing in 2021 amassing a revenue of $123.6 billion. The same is estimated for 2022. Let’s have a look at how the market revenue is distributed in the top 5 countries:



Country Revenue (in million USD)
1 United States 31, 563
2 China 14,653
3 Germany 8,726
4 France 7,553
5 Japan 7,030

The United States remains the largest eyewear revenue generator and is expected to sustain its dominance over the next 8 years (until 2030). Home to one of the largest sports eyewear brands, Oakley, and the manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, the US eyewear market revenue will exceed $31 billion in 2022, as quoted by the experts.

Online vs Instore Eyewear Market Share

The trend of offline, traditional retail or in-store shopping took a dip in 2020 when people moved to the digital channels of shopping. Given the ease of access and a wider range of products available on the go, the online trend of shopping is estimated to flourish in 2022:

Distribution Channel Revenue (in million USD) Market Share
Offline 103,628 76.3%
Online 32,188 23.7%

It’s of no surprise that the offline market share, peaking at 84.1% in 2019, was depleted by -6% by next year. The trend is on a course of decline with several outlets offering a hybrid or a purely virtual channel of online shopping.

Eyeglasses vs Sunglasses: Eyewear Market Share

The revenue of the sunglasses segment stood at $21,174 million while that of the spectacle segment was $86,448 million in 2021. Such a massive difference in shades vs eyeglasses share involves a number of legit reasons. Before we get to that, let’s observe how both segments of the eyewear industry fair in 2022.

Eyewear Segment Revenue (in million USD) Market Share
Sunglasses 23,424 17.24%
Eyeglasses 84,802 69.80%

Some key drivers of this huge eyeglasses business include the inexpensive nature of spectacles, versatility, wider accessibility, and rising eyesight issues around the world. The contact lenses have the least share of 12.96%. Despite so much progress going on with futuristic sunglasses and high-tech contacts, the traditional eyeglasses or specs are still estimated to remain dominant till the end of this decade.

Luxury vs Non-Luxury: Eyewear Market Share

According to the overall luxury market analysis, the share of the “luxury eyewear” segment exceeds 7% of the global market revenue. Comparing non-luxury against luxury eyewear products, experts recorded a massive difference between shares, with the luxury specs market standing at 16% while non-luxury at 84% in 2022.

This huge imbalance is primarily because luxury eyeglasses and sunglasses are struggling to find approval in the developing regions such as Southern Africa, South America, and the Subcontinent. Also, the non-luxury eyewear is purely based on serving a function (vision enhancement or eye protection) rather than adorning the looks & style.

Eyewear Market Size by Segments

For market analysis by segments, experts divide the eyewear industry into 4 main segments, i.e., product type, distribution channel, end-user, and region. The table below displays the eyewear market size for each segment:

Market Segment Leading Segment Market Size (in million USD)
Product Type Prescription Specs 83,439
Distribution Channel Offline 77,153
End-User Men 60,570
Region North America 41,809

The prescription specs take the lead against the non-prescription designer glasses. The offline trend of shopping is daunted immensely yet it remains the most desirable channel for the masses. North America, effectively the enormous market of the US, leads the industry in terms of region.

EssilorLuxottica – The Leading Manufacturer of Eyewear and Optical Goods

When we say the word “leading” manufacturer of eyewear, nothing ever comes closer to EssilorLuxottica. The company emerged when the top eyewear designing firm, Luxottica Group, announced a merger with Essilor International, the renowned glasses-lens manufacturer.

In 2019, the revenue of EssilorLuxottica peaked at $19,279 million before noticing a 20.5% revenue decline in 2020. However, the company is estimated to regain those staggering numbers in 2022.

Luxottica owns the two most recognized eyewear brands, Ray-Ban & Oakley, while luxury brands like Bulgari, Persol, Chanel, and Burberry are also licensed to the company. This should explain EssilorLuxottica’s substantial dominance in its domain.

The rest of the key players in the eyewear industry involve:

  • Johnson & Johnson Vision Care: Based in Jacksonville, Florida, Johnson & Johnson has 1,137 subsidiary companies around the world producing ultra-fine lenses for shades, eyeglasses, and contacts. The revenue of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care stands at $663.47 million.
  • Marcolin Group S.p.A: Another Italy-based eyewear manufacturer home to the top brands like OMEGA, Sportmax, Addidas Sport, and Tom Ford. The company secured revenue of $376 million in 2020.
  • Safilo Group S.p.A: An Italian company that designs & manufactures eyewear accessories. Safilo has a wide network of factories and firms in 130 countries around the globe securing annual revenue of $113 million.


The eyewear industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.0% in an 8-year forecast period from 2021-2028 as concluded by several research studies. The estimated revenue will reach $172.4 billion by 2028, most of which would come from the non-luxury, prescription eyeglasses segment. North America dominates as the highest contributor of the total revenue. However, huge industries in Asia-Pacific might emerge as the next big thing in the eyewear market.

Source: DailyBayoNet