Similarities and Differences: Personal Accessories and Eyewear

The 2013 edition of Euromonitor International’s Passport: Personal Accessories (formerly Passport: Personal Goods) and Passport: Eyewear systems are now live on Passport, with the two databases showcasing several interesting developments. Collectively, global Personal Accessories and Eyewear sales are expected to exceed US$570 billion in 2012, spurred on by value expansion in high priced products such as real jewellery and rising appreciation for mechanical watches.

2012 value growth rates for both Personal Accessories and Eyewear are expected to be markedly lower than in 2011 for a variety of factors. As many European countries continue to grapple with recessionary concerns in 2012, consumers are showing signs of trading down for both Personal Accessories and Eyewear purchasing choices. This dilutes the strong gains coming through the emerging regions of Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe. That said, both industries are expected to recover gradually over the forecast period 2012-2017, as their total value sales growth projected over this period beats that seen in 2007-2012.

Barring luxury goods manufacturers, there are few global mass companies which enjoy a leading position across categories in Personal Accessories. Luxury-positioned LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA and Richemont SA, Cie Financière both registered substantial sales and sales expansion across Bags and Luggage, Jewellery and Watches in 2011. Non-luxury brands which command global leadership in specific categories include Samsonite, Fossil and Swatch. Contact Lenses and Spectacles, however, remain segregated in terms of global competitors. Here, Luxottica Group and Essilor International dominate spectacles whereas specialists manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson enjoy strong branding within contact lenses.

The global distribution for both Personal Accessories and Eyewear hinges on specialist retailers. As such, both Jewellery and Watch specialist retailers and Bags and Luggage specialist retailers significantly direct retail sales of Personal Accessories. Similarly, Optical Shops are the source of nearly three-quarters of global Eyewear sales in 2012. Internet retailing has emerged as a star performer for contact lenses in particular.

Eyewear is one of the few consumer goods industries where Asia Pacific is not on a par with North America or Western Europe in terms of total value sales. In 2012, Asia Pacific will account for less than 20% of global value sales. It is an entirely different landscape in Personal Accessories, where Asia Pacific is responsible for nearly half of all global sales, stemming from strong demand of real jewellery such as gold pieces in China and India.

Looking forward, both Personal Accessories and Eyewear are expected to rely on Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe to boost global growth as the other regions trudge along the recovery path over 2012-2017. Despite their status as non-essentials, Jewellery and Watches will lead growth for Personal Accessories over this period. In terms of Eyewear, sunglasses will continue to shine while daily disposable lenses will fuel growth from turning to teenagers as well as children aged 8-12 years as a focus demographic.