ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Sales revenue for the vision correction industry is returning to pre-pandemic levels, according to The Vision Council’s newly released VisionWatch market research reports for Q2 of 2021. The reports indicate that the vision correction industry generated $10.7 billion in sales revenue during the second quarter of 2021, representing an increase of 102.8 percent from Q2 2020 and an increase of 3.3 percent from Q2 2019 levels. Additionally, the Q2 reports indicate industry revenue was driven by rising prices and increased spending among existing vision correction users in the market.
During the 12-month period ending June 2021, the per capita spending in the U.S. on optical products and services increased by more than $36 among vision correction users.

Designed exclusively for the vision care industry, the VisionWatch research reports are released on a quarterly basis and survey trends in consumer behavior regarding eye exams and eyewear, analyze developments in the U.S. eyecare market, and provide key market and product category statistics.

To download the Q2 2021 reports, visit The Vision Council’s Research Download Center here.
“Eyewear sales, both in unit and dollar terms, increased considerably in the first half of 2021 as consumers returned to the optical marketplace in record numbers,” said Steve Kodey, senior director of industry research at The Vision Council. “Bolstered by declining COVID-19 cases in the U.S., consumers flush with disposable income from government stimulus spending helped to grow first and second quarter 2021 eye exams and eyewear sales.

High rates of managed vision care coverage and heightened future purchase intent figures suggest that this growth should carry through the remainder of 2021 as consumers continue to adjust to the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and meet their vision care needs,” he said.

Online Rx eyeglass sales continue to grow and lead eyeglass sales over the past year, increasing 53.4 percent in unit sales during the 12-month period ending June 2021. However, sales have dropped from its peak in September 2020 as more consumers return to physical brick-and-mortar stores to purchase optical products.

Source: The Vision Council.

Notable online sales findings that occurred during the 12-month period ending June 2021 include:

  • Online/internet sales of eyewear increased by 31.3 percent during the year-ending period June 2021—generating $3.75 billion worth of sales during that time period.

  • Online eyeglasses unit pair sales (frames and lenses combined) increased by 53 percent during the year-ending period June 2021.
The Vision Council also gauges the overall level of Managed Vision Care (MVC) coverage among the U.S. adult population to better understand the evolving MVC landscape. MVC highlights featured in the Q2 results are as follows:

  • 125.7 million U.S. adults, or 48.3 percent of the U.S. adult population, had some type of MVC coverage by June 2021, representing a decline of 0.6 percent or about 800,000 fewer covered lives compared to June 2020.

  • Despite the decline in covered lives, usage of MVC continues to increase as consumers are utilizing those benefits more than ever before. 75.6 percent, or 90.2 million, of all adult eye exams conducted, and 60.9 percent, or 50.1 million pairs, of all frames purchased during the 12ME period June 2021 were purchased with the assistance of MVC.
The ongoing VisionWatch study provides The Vision Council’s members with exclusive insights into the optical marketplace’s current and historical trends, retailer shares, consumer traits and demographic breakdowns. The Vision Council issues other topical research reports throughout the year that are available for purchase.