Chapters
Annual Report 2019

The environment in which we operate

We are a global optical retail leader active in more than 40 countries across multiple continents. That is why we understand the importance of aligning our business model and strategy with the global market and megatrends, as well as with major social and environmental issues.

Today, at least 2.2 billion people have a vision impairment or blindness − that is nearly one third of the world's population. Yet, eye care is still out of reach for at least 1 billion people who predominantly live in underserved areas of the world (source: WHO).

Meanwhile, the global eyewear market has grown steadily by 4% over the last decade and is expected to continue to expand by approximately 4.7% each year for the next five years (source: Euromonitor). This consistent growth is underpinned by changing global market trends such as evolving consumer megatrends, evolving market structure and technology and category growth. This growth is also influenced by global megatrends like a growing and aging population, urbanization and an expanding middle class, and digitalization and eye health.

  • Growing and aging population: Aging is one of the most significant global demographic factors impacting eye care, as vision correction needs become more complex as a person grows older. This tends to be greater in low- and middle-income countries, especially among underserved population segments such as women, migrants, indigenous peoples, people with disabilities and those living in rural communities. Population growth and aging, along with behavioral and lifestyle changes and urbanization will dramatically increase the number of people with eye conditions, vision impairment and blindness in the future.
  • Urbanization and expanding global middle class: By 2030, the global middle class is expected to reach 5.3 billion people. This means there will be more than an additional two billion people with increased purchasing power compared to today. While the expanding global middle class may drive retail economic development and increased business opportunities, urbanization and consumer behavior changes, as well as consumption patterns, can impact the environment negatively. However, employees, suppliers and customers demand more regulations, good governance, and fair and equal opportunities. They also pay closer attention to leading healthy lifestyles, purchasing more sustainable products, and consuming more consciously.
  • Digitalization and eye health: Technology has led to increased work efficiencies and shopping patterns, easier access to information and faster, more transparent communication. It has also disrupted many industries, including the optical industry. While digital technology has improved our lives, the increased time we spend looking at our mobile devices and computer screens can negatively affect our health, as well as the health of our eyes.

Below, we explain how we tailor our business to respond to these global trends. In the section, 'How we create long-term value for our stakeholders,' we take our analysis further and show how we align our business model and strategy to the UN Sustainable Development Goals agenda.

Market trends
Related megatrends
  • Evolving consumer megatrends
  • Evolving market structure
  • Technology and category growth
  • Growing and aging population
  • Urbanization and expanding global middle class
  • Digitalization and eye health
How we respond

Our portfolio is positioned in some of the world's most active structural markets, and our growth across each eyewear category is underpinned by emerging markets. By expanding our market presence, we also increase access to affordable high-quality eye care, and contribute to underprivileged communities through philanthropic activities.

We focus on key capabilities and operational excellence to drive economies of scale in category management, procurement, production, omnichannel and digital channels. We promote safe and sustainable production and operations, and support a diverse and inclusive global workforce with fair and equal working conditions for all.

We are enhancing our operating model and digital capabilities to help capture a higher growth share in the sunglass and contact lens categories.

We update our store experience and products and implement a new e-commerce experience to enhance our customer journey. We also take responsibility to educate our customers about responsible consumption patterns and give opportunities to extend the lifecycle of their products.