Eyewear and Sunglasses are an inevitable part of accessories today. Just as Indian men desire to look great in branded clothes, footwear and watches; they are all-up to own designer eyewear as well.
The Indian eyewear industry is on the cusp of change. Just like other sectors are witnessing revolution owing to great technology, the eyewear industry too is undergoing an overhaul. Increase in disposable incomes, higher working class professionals, higher premium brands on the board and increasing exposure to international markets are few factors driving the growth.
Indian eyewear market has always been dominated by male buyers for sunglasses but it was predominantly Ray-Ban as the first known premium brand for male aviators. But today, men are getting experimental with their choices and are heading for many other international brands to complement their outfit and entire look. Foreign brands like Vogue, Tommy Hilfiger, Kenneth Cole, Armani, Gucci and many more are coming up with great product designs and style for Indian men. There is a rage of new stores and outlets across India. The penetration is further accelerated through online marketplaces. Portals like Jabong, Amazon, Snapdeal and many such others are offering branded sunglasses under their ‘accessories’ section from the comfort of home and that too at great deals and discounts. There are dedicated websites for buying just eyewear – like Lenskart, specswala etc in India that endeavours to offer a great online shopping experience. These websites also offer a virtual platform wherein one can actually see and compare how a particular style of sunglasses looks at his face. Indian and international fragrances are available through conventional models (like malls) as well as contemporary methods (online stores). People have the ease and benefits of online shopping from the comfort of their homes, at their fingertips. There easy payment options, hassle free returns and fast and secure shipping of products to name a few.
Apart from the metros, male population in tier II and tier III cities are also driving the growth for branded eyewear in India.
Though demand has been increasing from the female clan as well, Male members are giving complete competition in terms of fashion to them. Luxottica India Eyewear Pvt. Ltd. - the Indian subsidiary of the Luxottica Group, which sells brands such as Ray-Ban and Oakley - currently devotes 50-55 percent of its collection in terms of volume to men’s products. The category is growing at 20 percent by male buyers for branded eyewear.
A report by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), has stated that the sunglasses market was estimated at Rs.2, 200 crore in 2012. It suggested that premium sunglasses—brands such as Esprit, Giorgio Armani, Cartier, Tommy Hilfiger, Ray-Ban, Dolce and Gabbana, Calvin Klein and Police—are growing at 40 percent a year and that high-end eyewear accounts for about 30 percent of the market.
While women are adding to the expanding consumer base, male members are also thrilled by the availability of multiple brands.