UK Optical Goods Retailing market report
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Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Optical Goods Retailing market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.
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Products covered in this Report
This Report covers core goods and services sold through opticians including:
- Eye tests
- Prescription sunglasses
- Spectacle frames and lenses (we use the terms glasses and spectacles interchangeably)
- Contact lenses (including aftercare)
- Contact lens solutions through opticians, chemists and other outlets.
In addition, this Report includes eyecare solutions, such as Optrex, eyebaths and eye masks, which are used for the treatment of sore and tired eyes.
The Report also looks at the market for non-prescription sunglasses including those sold by outlets other than opticians.
For the purposes of this Report, retail opticians’ shops and optical practices refer to shops staffed by qualified opticians. There are three types of practitioner:
Optometrists or Ophthalmic Opticians (often abbreviated to OOs) are registered with the General Optical Council and specialise in sight testing and the prescribing and dispensing of spectacles and optical appliances. They are trained to recognise eye diseases and abnormalities which may require further medical intervention.
Ophthalmic Medical Practitioners (OMPs) are fully qualified doctors with a speciality in eyes and eyecare. They are registered with the General Medical Council and can test sight and prescribe spectacles and other appliances. They are also trained in the detection and treatment of eye diseases and abnormalities.
Dispensing Opticians (DOs) are qualified to dispense, fit and supply spectacles, but they require an additional certificate to fit contact lenses. Dispensing opticians with additional qualifications can become contact lens opticians. Contact lenses may also be fitted by qualified OMPs and optometrists.
The following products may be discussed in the consumer analysis and referenced within the Report. However, they are excluded from market value sizes:
- Eye creams and gels for the skin around the eyes
- Prescription and over-the-counter eye drops for the treatment of allergies or eye infections
- Accessories such as spectacle cases and contact lens containers
- Laser eye surgery
- Hearing aids
- MECS (Minor Eyecare Conditions Schemes).
Value figures throughout this Report are at retail selling prices unless otherwise stated. Market sizes at constant 2016 prices are calculated using Mintel’s chemist goods and personal services deflator.
In the light of new evidence from a variety of market sources, some market size data has been revised and may not therefore be directly comparable with previous Reports. Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland.
Expert analysis from a specialist in the field
Written by Jane Westgarth, a leading analyst in the Retail sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.
Concentration of the retail sector has continued and major suppliers have moved into online selling. The largest retailer, Specsavers, has continued to build market share, thanks to the expansion of the chain, as well as the addition of related services such as domiciliary and hearing services. In its latest move, Specsavers is determined to develop MECS (Minor Eyecare Conditions Schemes), adding to its portfolio of services. Attention-grabbing deals remain the cornerstone of promotional strategy, but we are seeing more brand building by the chains in order to reduce the focus on discounting. New opticians inside John Lewis (in conjunction with Luxottica) and the steady growth of optical chains at Asda and Tesco will intensify competition even further. Plus, online selling is continuing to concentrate into the hands of major suppliers and multiple groups; most notably many of the pioneers have been bought by Essilor. Meanwhile Superdrug has entered the online market for prescription spectacles. Inevitably the losers will be independents, which continue to see market share being steadily chipped away.
Senior Retail Analyst
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* This is a sample representation of the report layout and does not reflect the research included in this report.
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