GfK Provides New View On Optics Industry

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GfK Asia released its premier retail audit data on the 2007 Optics industry in China covering the contact lens market in three major cities: Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. In 2008, GfK Asia will track the broader Asian Optics industry which includes contact lens, ophthalmic lens, spectacles frames and sunglasses to give the industry a comprehensive view of this expanding market segment. Today's GfK Asia contact lens data provides a unique insight into a country of 1.3 billion, with 300 million requiring vision correction devices.

Paired with great economic growth and the fact that more and more Chinese citizens recognize optics as not just a necessity but as a fashion accessory, vision care products are set to excel in this market," states Stanley Kee, GfK Asia Commercial Director. "In 2007, GfK estimates the total Chinese consumer spend for contact lens at slightly more than quarter of a billion US dollars (0.28 billion USD). Our estimates indicate prescribed spectacles (spectacles frame fitted with ophthalmic lens) spend at 1.66 billion US dollars. We estimate approximately 75 million pairs of spectacles are sold through Chinese optical retail in 2007. Contact lenses take 14.4% of the total. These two products combined equate to a 1.94 billion US dollar industry."

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Five Major brands currently hold 90% of the contact lens optics market in China based on the three major cities audited. Hydron and Weicon, the two major Chinese contact lens makers, currently make up 25% of the domestic market in terms of dollar value based on the November 2007 GfK retail audit data. Foreign brands are doing well with Johnson and Johnson holding the lion's share of the market at 34%, and Bausch & Lomb at 26%. Ciba Vision is at 5% of the market with further growth expected in 2008.

In China for the top three key cities Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou combined the number of shops selling contact lens and spectacles exceed three thousand four hundred outlets. 55% of the shops in the top 3 cities are organized chain stores. The data shows that Guangzhou has more independent optician shops when compared to Beijing and Shanghai. Unlike the exposure of shops outlets ratio, organized chain stores are observed to be doing more contact lens sales in terms of actual value having the majority ratio of 72%. All 3 cities combined shows 63% of the shops are at street level with a retail floor space of 21-40 square meters as the common size. In Nov 2007, the best selling contact lens was the Johnson and Johnson 1 Day Acuvue series within the 3 cities tracked.

"Today, contact lens is more than vision care and eye sight correction devices; fashion is the key word for a whole new wave of consumers," added Mr. Kee. "With the colour contact lens trend being embraced in Japan, Korea and other parts of the world, this portion of the total Optics industry is set for many clear and colourful years to come. The competition in China is clearly heating up but the consumers will benefit with a clear vision enhancing their lifestyle and at the same time deciding the successful player in the market."

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