OTC Eyeglass Readers – Fastest Growing Optical Market

According to The Vision Council, “over the counter”, OTC eyeglass readers are the fastest growing optical market, up 39% over the last five years with one – two million new users every year. A lot of these purchases are from small niche retailers e.g. computer stores, boutiques etc. and we see everyone of these purchases as an unnecessary revenue loss from the optical retail distribution channel.

Ron's make-up reader

Yes, many people are going to buy eyeglass readers from mass merchants and convenience stores but most of these will be cheap and poor quality. There is no reason not to offer the optical consumer reasonably priced, high quality readers not as an alternative to ophthalmic lenses but as a supplement. Personally, I have at least ten pairs of ophthalmic eyewear but I still like to use OTC eyeglasses in certain situations e.g. reading in the bath! Then there are specialty readers such as Ron’s make-up readers, most women are buying this type of product from a beauty supply retailer instead of their optical provider.

Modern Optical Be In ReaderWear

Also, there are many optical consumers who will not buy ophthalmic eyewear anyway so why not offer them an eye exam and let them buy readers if that is what they want. They will do it anyway so why not from you? It is an opportunity to educate them about the importance of a regular eye exam. At the same time they can learn about the difference in quality if you show them an example of a cheap pair of OTC readers compared to a quality pair and at some point they may wish to upgrade their purchase.


SILMO PARIS 20-23 September 2024