L&T’s 2010 Premium Lens Study of Eyecare Practitioners is a qualitative survey that provides fresh feedback from eyecare practitioners about sales of the spectacle lens designs, materials and treatments they prescribe and dispense. By analyzing the results of this important new study, which polled 237 independent optical retailers across the country, we learn which products they think are hot and which ones are not compared with last year. Use this field data to benchmark lens sales in your dispensary.
Compared to three years ago, 49 percent of retailers said that in 2009, spectacle lenses and treatments made up a larger percentage of their location’s total gross dollar sales. This is down from 57 percent in 2008. There was an increase in the number of retailers who said spectacle lenses and treatments made up a smaller percentage compared to three years ago, going from 21 percent in 2008 to 27 percent in 2009. Thirty eight percent said Rx sun lenses as a percentage of total dollar sales increased over three years ago.
Fifty one percent of retailers say that they do use lens-only package pricing. The average price of this lens-only package is $279.84.
When asked to rank lens design by popularity, standard or aspheric single vision was top ranked by 48 percent of retailers. Standard progressives and customized or personalized progressives were each top ranked by 20 percent. Fifty three percent of retailers said short corridor lenses made up a moderate percent (11 percent to 49 percent) of their total progressive lens pair sales. More than half (57 percent) of retailers said that customized or personalized progressives lenses made up a greater proportion of their total lens sales in 2009 than they had in 2008.
Comparatively, 41 percent said standard progressive sales had increased over the last year, while 55 percent said sales of bifocals and trifocals had decreased as a percentage of total lens sales over the last year. Forty four percent of retailers said brand name is very important to them regarding their decision as to which lenses to carry. Also, 84 percent of retailers said quality is extremely important to them regarding their decision as to which lenses to carry.
Ninety six percent of retailers said quality is very or extremely important to their patients regarding their decision as to which lenses to purchase. Forty five percent of retailers said price is extremely important to their patients in regard to their decision as to which lenses to purchase.
Fifty four percent of retailers agree with the statement, “I promote the use of progressive lenses to all my presbyopic patients, including those who currently wear bifocals or trifocals.”
When asked about familiarity regarding new progressive lens technologies, 89 percent of respondents were aware of the terms “freeform” and “customized.” Eighty four percent were aware of the term “personalized”, and only 57 percent were aware of the term “contrast enhancing.”
Seventy eight percent of respondents said they are very or extremely satisfied with the personalized progressive lenses they dispense.
Computer/variable focus lens sales have stayed about level, with 49 percent of retailers saying that their sales in this area have remained unchanged. Most retailers surveyed (66 percent) say that computer/office lenses make up an insignificant percentage (10 percent or less) of their total lens pair sales.
When asked to rank lens material by popularity, standard plastic was top ranked by 43 percent of retailers. Polycarbonate was ranked number one by 33 percent. Glass was ranked least popular by most retailers (68 percent).
Forty two percent of retailers said their 2009 polycarbonate lens sales increased as a proportion of total lens pair sales compared to 2008. Forty four percent said that their sales of super hi-index lenses had grown since 2008, and 41 percent said Trivex sales had increased over the last year. Fifty one percent said their mid-index lens sales had stayed flat. Glass was the worst performer, with 50 percent saying that glass made up a smaller proportion of their total lens sales in 2009 than in 2008.
When asked to rank high-index lenses based on popularity, 57 percent ranked 1.67 as most popular and 32 percent ranked 1.60 as most popular. Comparatively, 1.74 was ranked least popular by 53 percent of retailers.
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 February 2010.
Only the responses of independent optical retailers who dispense premium lenses are included in the report.
The sample consists of 237 independent optical retailers. All participants were recruited by email and the questionnaire was completed via the Internet. Three years of data is provided where possible.
Senior Research Analyst
Jobson Optical Research
2010 Premium Lens Marketpulse Survey
An impressive 76 percent of retailers surveyed said that they had experienced an increase in AR lens sales as a proportion of total lens sales in 2009 versus 2008. 59 percent saw an increase in polarized lenses and 59 percent saw and increase in photochromic sales over the same period.
For 49 percent of retailers surveyed, tinted lens sales stayed about the same versus the year before. Seventy one percent of retailers said they offer two different price points for AR lenses—one being standard, the other being premium.
IMPACT OF REFRACTIVE SURGERY
Thirty eight percent of retailers agree that due to the increase in patients having refractive surgery sales of reading glasses have increased, while 22 percent say specifically high-powered lens sales have decreased.
For some retailers (54 percent), reading glass unit sales stayed about the same in 2009 compared to 2008. 30 percent of respondents experienced an increase in readers sales over this time period. Among those who sell readers, 25 percent said that their OTC/ready-made readers sales had increased in 2009. Custom-made readers sales were flat for half (47 percent) of respondents at locations that sell readers.