Get the inside scoop on what ECPs say about their frame + sunwear sales and strategies

Dolce & Gabbana style DG4338 from Luxottica

Nothing’s more powerful than peer intel.

That’s why we conduct EB’s annual Frame + Sunwear Virtual Focus Group and share the results of that research here.

Here, we take a closer look at the biggest pieces of the frame and sun product puzzle—inventory mix, sun and Rx-ready sales, and some of the savvy selling strategies behind it all.

The best news? Sales are up. In fact, 61% of your peers report their sunwear sales have increased. Only 8% see a drop. And, nearly 4 out of 10 (37%) say Rx sunwear is their fastest-growing category, up from 29% a year earlier.

They also report that, excluding sunwear, a whopping 84% of total sales come from Rx-ready optical frames. That’s up from 67% a year earlier.

of ECPs sell online, down from 28% a year earlier


“Over the next two years, our biggest challenge…is to educate consumers on the differences between us and online, big-box, and discount stores. They can’t offer what we can—a large variety of frames, proper adjustments, and personalized care.” —Optical manager + survey respondent, Orange County, CA

The Mix

How do your peers manage their inventory? On average, they work with a total of 10 frame companies to achieve their merchandise mix. Just over half of that is in the mid-price range, with women’s styles accounting for 40% of frames on display. Three-quarters also report they’ve increased their amount of mid-price eyewear during the past three years. In terms of frame board space, Rx sunwear takes up more room (20%) than any other specialty category, followed by kids’ and computer eyewear (12% each).

of the average frame assortment is now computer eyewear. That’s doubled, up from 6% a year earlier.

What’s Driving ECP Purchases?

Here’s how focus group participants rank the importance of Rx-ready optical frame and sunwear features:

  1. Construction quality
  2. Styling
  3. Performance
  4. Lens tech
  5. Return policy

The Sale

Insurance coverage has been a big factor in eyewear pricing for years. This time around, however, 52% of those surveyed say it plays no role in their pricing; 39% have increased prices to compensate; and 9% report lowering prices.

In terms of sales, 25.3% more Rx-ready optical frames have been sold than in the year before. That’s a healthy increase. All told, 84% of dispensary sales come from Rx-ready optical frames. Another 18% come from sunwear, and those numbers are on the rise.

Importance of Brand Recognition

  1. Luxury eyewear
  2. Sunwear
  3. Moderately priced eyewear
  4. Sports sunwear
  5. Low-priced eyewear