In the past, the eyewear industry was more or less insulated from economic downturns, as eyewear was deemed a stable commodity product. That changed as eyewear grew into a fashion product and more prone to the whims of consumers and the ups and downs of economic markets. The big question is whether consumers will purchase fashionable brand name eyewear in the midst of an economic crisis as seemingly more pressing demands are at hand. Eyewear stores across the United States had already seen the effects of the economic downturn with many stores reporting significant drop offs in store traffic at the end of 2008. And by the end of first quarter 2009, some underperforming stores had been closed and manufacturing plants were idled.
Though the market for eyewear in the U.S. grew at an annual rate of eight percent between 2004 and 2008, growth in 2008 was much more subdued at less than four percent. For the eyewear industry, an ongoing consumer paradigm shift in attitudes towards more frugality and less conspicuous consumption means high-flying fashion brands may suffer at the expense of less expensive alternatives. But can the major marketers and retailers adapt?
The U.S. Eyewear Market: Prescription and Nonprescription Lenses, Sunglasses, Contact Lenses, and Frames, 2nd Edition examines these questions and others by looking at the current market, trends, major brands, and consumer preferences. The report presents concise, thought provoking analyses of various aspects of the eyewear industry and provides a forecast for the market through 2013.
The information presented in this report was obtained from primary and secondary research. Primary research entailed on-site examination of eyewear products in retail stores and consultations with eyewear industry observers and executives. Secondary research involved canvassing information and articles appearing in financial, marketing, and trade publications, company literature, and independent research reports, plus reviews of websites, blogs and readers’ comments posted on these sites.
Other sources consulted for The U.S. Eyewear Market were the U.S. Census Bureau’s Economic Census (1997, 2002, and 2007), Annual Survey of Manufacturers, Advanced Monthly Sales for Retail and Foodservice and the Annual Retail Trade Survey. Other market data sources included the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC).
The analysis of consumer behavior and demographics is based on data from the Simmons Market Research Bureau (New York NY) Spring 2008 and Summer 2008 Study of Media and Markets, which is based on the responses of over 20,000 adults age 18 and over.
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