Welcome to L&T’s 2021 Premium Lens MarketPulse survey. This annual survey provides a useful benchmark for independent eye- care practitioners to compare their spectacle lens and Rx sun lens sales against. The data compiled here, based on input from 311 independent optical retailers, is also useful in understanding how these ECPs dispense certain lenses, such as digital progressive and single vision lenses that may require personalized measurements. Three year comparative data is included to show how sales of various products are trending.

Andrew Karp  

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2021 Premium Lens MarketPulse Survey

2021 Premium Lens MarketPulse Survey

2021 Premium Lens MarketPulse Survey

2021 Premium Lens MarketPulse Survey

2021 Premium Lens MarketPulse Survey

2021 Premium Lens MarketPulse Survey

2021 Premium Lens MarketPulse Survey


Compared to three years ago, 29 percent of retailers said that spectacle lenses and treatments made up a larger percentage of their location’s total gross dollar sales in 2020. In 2020, 46 percent said pricing on spectacle lenses and treatments has increased compared to three years ago as well, and 21 percent said that Rx sun lenses as a percentage of total dollar sales increased over the same period.

When asked to rank lens design by popularity, standard or aspheric single vision was ranked most popular by 39 percent of retailers. Customized or personalized progressives were ranked most popular by 35 percent.

Less than one third of retailers (29 percent) said less than 3 percent of single vision Rxs sold are digitally enhanced.

Sixty percent of retailers said less than 3 percent of single vision digitally enhanced lenses use actual vertex, tilts and wrap measurements done in the office by the retailer.

Just over half (51 percent) of retailers said that customized or personalized progressive lenses made up a greater proportion of their total lens sales in 2020 than they had versus three years ago, and 46 percent said computer/variable focus sales had increased over the last three years, while 40 percent said that sales of bi/trifocals had decreased as a percentage of total lens sales over the last three years, respectively.

Seventy-five percent prefer lens manufacturer brands over lab private labels for digital progressive lenses.

Almost all retailers surveyed (93 percent) say they determine whether a patient should have computer lenses by their occupation/vocation as opposed to add power.

When asked to rank lens material by popularity, polycarbonate was ranked most popular by 49 percent of the retailers. Standard plastic was ranked most popular by 27 percent.

Thirty-four percent of retailers said that their 2020 polycarbonate lens sales increased as a proportion of total lens pair sales compared to one year ago. Thirty-two percent and 31 percent said the same about their Trivex and super high-index lenses, respectively.

Sixty percent said that their mid-index lens sales had stayed flat. Glass was the weakest with 46 percent saying that glass made up a smaller proportion of their total lens sales in 2020 than last year.

An average of 49 percent of clear blue light filtering lenses are AR blue filter. Sixteen percent are lens substrate (in-resin). Thirty percent are combinations.

Retailers said that 45 percent of their progressive lens sales are personalized/compensated, on average.

Twenty-four percent of the progressive lenses with personalized/compensated designs include actual vertex, tilt and wrap measurements.

Over half (56 percent) use the manufacturer’s or lab’s default measurements for position of wear (vertex, panto and wrap).

Thirty-seven percent of retailers said that they have a digital measuring device in their office to take position of wear measurements. Among them, 51 percent say they use it 75 percent to 100 percent of the time.

Forty-six percent of retailers say that they use package pricing. Eighty-four percent offer premium, mid-range and value package pricing. The average price of a lens-only package was $288.71. The most popular feature to include in a lens package is 100 percent UV (65 percent).

Sixty-eight percent said they have increased discussions with their patients on the importance of UV and HEV blue light absorbing eyewear for outdoor use, and 61 percent have actually written more Rxs for them in the last three years.



This sample was derived from the proprietary Jobson Optical Research database. This survey was conducted by Jobson Optical Research’s in-house research staff. Data collection was conducted in March 2021. ECPs were asked about 2020 sales and performance. Only the responses of independent optical retailers are included in the report. This year’s sample consists of 311 independent optical retailers. All participants were recruited by email, and the questionnaire was completed online. Three years of data is provided for comparisons where possible.

–Jennifer Waller, Research Director