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Optical sales: what is the situation for 2020?


After dynamic growth recorded in 2019, the optical market continues to grow. Supported by the biennial renewal of lens and frame equipment and the massive adoption of progressive lenses, the market continues to grow. But what about for 2020?

Progressive growth since 2018

According to the GFK, sales of optical equipment have steadily increased since 2018. The good momentum continued in 2019 with an increase of nearly 1.4%. This growth is explained in particular by the renewal of the reimbursement system for glasses for policyholders.

The equipment that saw the most growth remains the prescription lenses which represent 61% of the market and which increased by 1.8%, and the frames which increased by 2.8%. The market is now posting positive volumes on these two essential equipment (ie + 2% and + 2.5% respectively).

On the other hand, some products are not experiencing this dynamic growth. Lenses showed a limited increase of 0.9% while sales of servicing solutions for optical equipment were down 2.5%. This is mainly due to the fact that these products are now available on e-commerce and purchases are heading in this direction. Sales of sunglasses, meanwhile, fell by 1.3%.

A reform that will shake up in 2020

If sales growth in 2019 has taken off, this could change for 2020. For 3 months now, the market has experienced a decline of more than 7% according to the Banque de France. This result could be explained by the entry into force of the new reform of “100% Santé” and in particular of the wait-and-see effect that it drags behind it.

Indeed, since the end of 2019, several eyeglass wearers have already deferred their purchase of equipment in order to obtain a zero or limited remaining charge. In addition, the impact of basket A (0 RAC) should not be neglected either. The gathering of Opticians from France, last February, highlighted that more than 18% customers have already opted for the 100% health offer and this could increase. If 10% have chosen complete devices without remainder of load, the 8% would have opted for mixed equipment.

The reform will certainly have a major effect for 2020. Only brands that are better prepared and who are already investing in the 70% on the market will certainly be able to withstand the “shock”.

Added to this is the Coronavirus COVID-19 epidemic which will have a definite impact on optical sales in 2020, despite the support measures initiated by the Government.

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