Designer frames 'increasing in popularity'

The proportion of people wearing spectacles who are willing to pay more for designer brands has risen

lady browses spectacles

The proportion of spectacles-wearers willing to pay more for designer frames has increased from nearly 30% in 2013 to almost 40% in 2015, according to Key Note’s 2015 Ophthalmic Goods & Services market report.

The research also found that, of those who wore spectacles and/or contact lenses, nearly three quarters keep a spare pair of spectacles/contact lenses as a back up to the existing ones. 

Nearly two-thirds said they would prefer spectacles over contact lenses due to practicality and costs, compared with a little more than a tenth who prefer contact lenses over spectacles because “they are more convenient and less obtrusive.”

The report highlights that the UK market for ophthalmic goods and services has enjoyed uninterrupted growth over the past five years, supported by an expanding and ageing population, and increased sales of spectacles and contact lenses. 

In 2014, the market for spectacles and contact lenses was estimated to grow by 3.2%, while the value for sight tests, including NHS and private, rose by 2.8%.

Key Note predicts that the UK ophthalmic goods and services market will continue to grow over the next five years, rising by an estimated 2.5% in 2015 and 2.4% in 2016. 

Growth will be driven by the ageing population, the increasing popularity of designer frames and new product development in the corrective eyewear sector.

The number of people undergoing NHS sight tests in the UK has steadily increased over the past few years. Almost 24,000 out of every 100,000 people had an NHS eye test in England in 2013/2014, compared with 20,500 in 2005/2006. 

The UK’s ageing population is a key factor driving demand for sight tests. The number of over-60s who had NHS sight tests increased from nearly 42,000 per 100,000, to over 46,000 per 100,000 between 2005/2006 and 2013/2014, according to Key Note.

The report is available to buy, priced £575.