The U.S. vision correction sector generated $11.58 billion in sales revenue during the first quarter of 2021, up 16.5 percent from Q1 2020 levels and up 1.9 percent from Q1 2019 levels, according to the Vision Council's quarterly VisionWatch market research reports for Q1 of 2021.
Additionally, during the year that ended in March 2021, overall utilization of vision correction increased by 0.4%, or 196.8 million adults. The Q1 figures show a $39.15 billion drop in retail sales and a 7.2 percent decline in the vision care sector during a 12-month period between March 2020 and March 2021. The VisionWatch research reports, which are released on a quarterly basis and are created exclusively for the vision care industry, examine consumer behavior trends regarding eye exams and eyewear, analyze changes in the U.S. eye care market, and provide significant market and product category statistics.
“The Q1 results indicate that the growth trends The Vision Council started observing in late 2020 have continued into early 2021 as many consumers continue to make eyewear purchases after postponing them during the early months of the pandemic,” said Steve Kodey, senior director of industry research at The Vision Council. “Furthermore, increasing vaccination rates and growing comfort levels among the consumer population as it relates to returning to a physical retail environment have led to increasing sales of optical products among brick-and-mortar retailers.”
Prescription eyeglass and plano sunglasses usage was generally unchanged during the year-ending period of March 2021, with small increases in absolute consumption owing to the rise in the U.S. population while prescription sunwear and over-the-counter readers usage climbed significantly.
Important online sales findings for the 12 months ending in March 2021 include:
● During the year that ended in March 2021, online/internet sales of eyewear climbed by 22.7 percent, resulting in $3.73 billion in sales.
● In the year that ended in March 2021, online sales of eyeglasses (including both frames and lenses) rose by 33%.
In order to better comprehend the changing MVC landscape, the Vision Council also assesses the total degree of Managed Vision Care (MVC) coverage among the adult population in the United States. The following MVC highlights are included in the Q1 results:
● By March 2021, 125.7 million US individuals, or 48.3 percent of the adult population in the US, had some form of MVC coverage, a decrease of 3.2 percent or almost 4 million covered lines from March 2020.
● Although the number of insured lives has decreased, MVC utilization has increased because customers are making greater use of their MVC benefits.
● 76.5 million adult eye exams and 42.7 million pairs of frames were bought with the help of MVC during the 12ME period ending in March 2021, accounting for 75.9% of all adult eye exams and 61 percent of all frame purchases.
The continuous VisionWatch study offers members of The Vision Council unique insights into the historical and present trends, retailer shares, consumer characteristics, and demographic breakdowns of the optical industry. Throughout the year, the Vision Council publishes additional topical research papers that are for sale.