Optical Goods Retailing - UK - February 2014
“This is a highly competitive market place, with three major chains dominating distribution and now facing intensifying competition from growing chains of supermarket opticians. So the big three are competing hard with special offers, intensive advertising campaigns, some online services and by growing their store chains. Indeed Vision Express has just made a step change with the purchase of a batch of stores as Rayner & Keeler has decided to get out of retail opticians, selling off all 104 stores to a range of buyers. The major opticians are also responding to the mature market place by adding other revenue streams including hearing and latterly the Specsavers Healthcall home visit services.”
– Jane Westgarth, Senior Market Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:
- Are supermarket opticians a real threat?
- What are mature opticians doing to grow sales?
- Will laser surgery depress demand for spectacles and contact lenses?
- How important are online sales and will more people shop online?
- What role does health play in forging demand for sunglasses?
Visiting the optician is the gateway to sales of optical goods in this regulated industry. People must have an eye examination by a qualified professional in order to get a prescription and once they have a prescription they usually go on to buy the eyewear they need to correct their vision. This is one reason why opticians have remained fairly insulated from competition from generalist retailers and online sellers, and up until recently the main battleground for market share has been among the opticians chains and independents. But are people prepared to check their own vision, perhaps with an app? Do they value the health checks that an eye examination includes?
In a climate where the grocery superstores are keen to add any services they can in order to generate non-food sales, we are seeing expansion of in-store opticians. The grocers have already made significant inroads into pharmacy, a similar sector, and opticians are a logical next step. The in-store opticians employ qualified staff in just the same way that a conventional optician must and can deliver similar levels of care and similar ranges, but often at extremely low prices. The big issue for conventional opticians is competing, as high street shops are loaded with many more operating costs including rent and rates. While an in-store optical outlet only needs to make a contribution to cover its use of space, a standalone high street shop is much costlier to run. So competition is intensifying as Tesco (run by Galaxy), Asda and Sainsbury’s (via an arrangement with Mee) add to their in-store opticians chains.
This report takes a look at optical goods and sunglasses. It examines consumer spending, looks at what consumers are buying and where they are buying it. It examines the demographic profile of people who are buying from supermarkets or online and also looks at the factors that influence their decisions about where to buy.
What you get
This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.
Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.
Mintel's proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.
Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.
Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.
* This is a sample representation of the report layout and does not reflect the research included in this report.
Why buy from us?
Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.
Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.
Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.
A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.