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Eyewear industry in Italy - Statistics & Facts

The Italian eyewear sector is a leading global industry. Italy ranks among the countries recording the highest eyewear sales volume per capita and hosts some of the most important enterprises of the sector worldwide. Specifically, the sales volume added up to about 3.6 pairs per person. The production value in Italy amounted to almost four billion euros in 2018, showing a constant increase in the last years. In fact, Italy ranks among the ten leading countries in the sector in terms of total turnover. Ophthalmic lenses accounted for the largest share. Sunglasses and frames made up a high percentage of the total turnover as well.

The Italian fashion industry generates a large part of its turnover abroad. The eyewear industry is the fashion sector gaining the largest share of total turnover from exports. The European and the American markets represent the main destinations of Italian lenses, frames, sunglasses and eyeglasses. Especially the United States held about 28 percent of the export value, followed by France, the United Kingdom, and Spain. However, further country-specific data show that the fastest growing importing countries were Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Mexico.

The success that Italy has reached in this sector today actually has older roots. In the 1960s, a small eyewear business was founded in the north of Italy, which later became the largest eyewear company in the world: Luxottica. In 2018, the company merged with another leading firm, Essilor. The two companies became EssilorLuxottica. One year later, EssilorLuxottica recorded over 17 billion euros in revenue. Also, the Luxottica segment still accounts for the largest source of revenue for the company.

Another leading player from Italy on the global eyewear market is Safilo. Safilo was founded by the son of Italian emigrants in the United States in the 1930s. Today, the company is based in the north of Italy and generates annual revenues of almost one billion euros. De Rigo also represents a success story for Italian eyewear. Founded in the 1970s by two brothers, the company is highly present in the European market. In 2018, the revenue reached almost half a billion euros.

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Eyewear industry in Italy

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