Time flies when you’re having SUN, and it’s time again for 20/20’s Sunwear MarketPulse Survey. Conducted by Jobson Research, the 2018 study surveyed over 200 eyecare professionals on how sunwear sales are performing and what trends are emerging. Take a look at the following stats to find out how the sunwear category has developed and progressed in the last several years.

–Jenn Waller, 20/20 Research Director

  • Seventy percent of respondents said that Rx sunwear is growing for their practice. Adults (age 35 to 44) accounted for the largest percent of Rx sunwear sales (an average of 31 percent) according to those independents surveyed. Almost half (47 percent) of respondents said that females are buying more Rx sunwear than males, 22 percent said males more than females, and 30 percent said the same for both genders.
  • Of the independents surveyed, 63 percent said consumers are more knowledgeable about sunwear than they were five years ago.
  • The same number of respondents (46 percent) agreed and disagreed with the statement that they feel the lines between fashion-oriented sunwear and sports-oriented sunwear are blurring (9 percent said “don’t know”). Of the 46 percent who agreed that the lines were blurring, 50 percent think this is helping the sales of both Rx and plano sunglasses. Only 4 percent claim the merging is hurting their sunwear sales.
  • On average, respondents said 62 percent of total retail sunwear sales comes from Rx complete, 22 percent from plano complete, 11 percent from clip-ons and 5 percent from fit-overs.
  • When asked what the greatest differentiating quality independents have over other channels was, superior service takes the top spot with 33 percent, followed by product customization at 31 percent and frames/lens knowledge at 25 percent.
  • On average, independents said polycarbonate lenses made up 46 percent of their total prescription sun lens sales and 43 percent of plano sunwear lens sales. Plastic/high-index plastic lenses made up 45 percent of total prescription sun lens sales and 44 percent of plano sunwear lens sales.
  • Not surprisingly, July/August was rated the highest sunglass sales period for 67 percent of independents. May/June followed with 51 percent rating it as a “high” period for sunglass sales. For comparison, January/February came in only at 3 percent rating it high.
  • More independents say they participate in Rx programs offered by sunwear companies (53 percent) than those who don’t (34 percent). Thirteen percent were unsure.

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Source: 20/20’s Sunwear MarketPulse Survey

Source: 20/20’s Sunwear MarketPulse Survey

Source: 20/20’s Sunwear MarketPulse Survey

Source: 20/20’s Sunwear MarketPulse Survey

Source: 20/20’s Sunwear MarketPulse Survey

Source: 20/20’s Sunwear MarketPulse Survey

Source: 20/20’s Sunwear MarketPulse Survey

Source: 20/20’s Sunwear MarketPulse Survey

Source: 20/20’s Sunwear MarketPulse Survey

Source: 20/20’s Sunwear MarketPulse Survey

Source: 20/20’s Sunwear MarketPulse Survey

Source: 20/20’s Sunwear MarketPulse Survey

METHODOLOGY

20/20’s 2018 Sunwear MarketPulse Survey is based on data collected from structured e-mail interviews with 215 independents optical retailers. The samples were derived from the proprietary Jobson Database. All 2018 interviews were conducted in December 2017 and January 2018. Data is presented from a retailer or practitioner’s perspective and may reflect seasonal market and thus behavioral fluctuations. This study was also conducted in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017. Trended data is charted wherever possible. All participants were contacted via e-mail invitation and offered an incentive of a chance to win a $200 amazon.com gift card. For more information, contact jwaller@jobson.com or 212-274-7164.