ZVA, the German's opticians' association, reports that the German optical retail market increased by an estimated 2.2 percent to €6.26 billion in 2017, as compared to the previous year. The number of spectacles sold went up by 0.8 percent to 12.84 million. Corrective lenses went up from 38.82 million to 39.61 million.
Excluding online retail sales, the market recorded a turnover of €5.96 billion in 2018, representing an increase of 1.7 percent, with sales of spectacles rising by 0.2 percent to 11.93 million. According to the ZVA, it is still difficult to report pure offline or online retail sales figures. For example, the figures recorded by brick-and-mortar opticians include sales generated by them online.
The ten biggest optical retail chains have 2,198 stores in Germany, which accounted for 47.3 percent of the total market in 2018. Fielmann remained the biggest German eyewear retail chain with sales of €1.13 million at about 600 stores in the country.
ZVA estimates that Apollo Optik recorded total sales of 732 million in 2018 with 857 stores in Germany. It also estimates that Mister Spex – the German online marketplace for eyeglasses, which has partnerships with more than 500 German opticians and manages 10 physical stores directly – generated sales of €84.2 million in 2018.
On the other hand, more and more pure online retailers, like Mister Spex, are opting for a multi-channel retail strategy, working with local opticians or opening their own physical stores. Online and multi-channel retailers saw their sales grow by 15 percent to €301 million in 2018.
The number of stationary retail stores decreased from 11,700 in 2017 to 11,630 in 2018, with a stable figure of 48,400 people working in the German eyewear retail sector.