Eyeglass sales: a growing business with 4 trends

Most eyeglass purchases are driven by need, with two main drivers of demand, according to National Vision Holdings.

For one thing, there is a decline in eyesight with increasing age, prompting new customers to buy corrective eyeglass.

On the other hand, a constant replacement cycle, as customers frequently replace or purchase new eyeglass for a variety of reasons, including changes in prescriptions, fashion trends, and need (for example, broken glasses or lost lenses).


The need for vision correction is diagnosed by eye tests and examinations.

National Vision anticipates that there are four key growth trends in the industry that will continue to contribute to the stability and growth of the US optical retail industry:

Eyeglasses and an aging population

According to The Vision Council, 76% of adults in the United States used some form of vision correction in September 2020.

At age 45, the need for vision correction begins to increase significantly, with approximately 88% of adults in the United States between the ages of 45 and 54 and about 89% of adults in the United States age 55 or rather they use vision correction, in accordance with that same source.

As the US population ages and life expectancy increases, the pool of potential customers and opportunities for repeat purchases in the optical retail industry are projected to increase.

As eyesight progressively deteriorates with age, the aging of the United States population should result in incremental sales of eyeglasses and related accessories.

Frequent eyeglass replacement cycle

The repetitive and predictable nature of customer behavior results in a significant volume of recurring revenue for the optical retail industry.

Also, the vision correction device purchase cycle is closely related to how often consumers have eye exams.

Most optometrists recommend annual eye exams as a preventive measure against serious eye conditions and to help patients identify changes in their vision correction needs.

According to The Vision Council, an estimated 196 million people in the United States who used vision correction devices in 2019 received nearly 118 million eye exams that year, implying an average interval between exams of 20 months.

The interval between exams contributes to the stability of the industry and shortening this interval represents an opportunity to increase the frequency of customer purchases.

Increased use of computer screens and mobile devices

Due to the proliferation of smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices, the population of the United States has seen a dramatic increase in the amount of time spent viewing electronic screens.

According to The Vision Council, approximately 80% of American adults report using digital devices for more than two hours a day, 70% use two or more devices simultaneously, and 60% report experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain.

This is projected to result in a higher percentage of the population suffering from screen-related vision problems, driving incremental sales of vision correction devices, such as traditional eyeglasses and contact lenses, as well as higher-margin products designed specifically to counteract the effect of looking at screens for long periods of time.

Increasing focus on health and wellness

The optical retail industry is poised to continue to benefit from the expansive trends underlying a growing societal focus on health and wellness.

Consumers want personalized solutions that allow them to make informed decisions about their health.

Additionally, rising health care costs are driving a growing emphasis on preventive health care.

Eye exams can detect a number of physical ailments, such as hypertension or diabetes, and are one of the cheapest and most effective ways to screen for many of these conditions.

As consumers continue to develop greater awareness of health and wellness issues, there is an opportunity for retailers that can offer personalized, affordable, and health-oriented products and services that can increase quality of life and lower the overall standard. of a person’s health care expenses.

Additionally, this increased focus on health means that people are living longer, increasing the overall demand for eye care and the frequency with which people visit their ophthalmologists for eye care products and services.