Recession spurs consumers to choose lower-priced glasses

The latest issue of Gaceta Optica, Spain’s leading optical trade magazine, reports how the financial crisis has affected the nation’s optical industry. Specifically, it outlines ways in which customers have altered their buying habits to cope with the financial crisis. In an effort to maintain optical health without overspending, Spanish consumers are increasingly choosing lower-priced glasses over more expensive options. The report is based on multiple sources, including a white paper produced by the non-profit organisation Visión y Vida, which campaigns for better optical health.

As the recession lingers, less expensive optical products are gaining in popularity. This trend signals potential growth for larger optical chains with the buying power to offer customers lower prices.

“Our latest sales figures mirror this consumer trend,” says José Ángel Moral-Tajadura of optical chain Specsavers Opticas, which offers glasses with single-vision lenses included from €25. “Despite the recession, we have seen a 95% increase in Spanish customers in our stores since the beginning of the year. And we experienced our best-ever week in terms of customer volume in Spain in early November.”

Specsavers has earned a reputation as a “consumer champion” in ten countries, offering customers clearly priced, affordable eyewear plus top-notch professional service. As the world’s largest private optical group, it can purchase products in volume, which results in lower retail prices. After entering the Finnish market in 2007, Specsavers was credited with helping to delay that country’s recession by spurring lower prices across the optical sector.

“As opticians, our top priority is the optical health of our customers,” said Mr. Moral-Tajadura. “In today’s economic climate, we believe that it is our duty to ensure that people have access to quality eyewear at reasonable prices.”

There are four Specsavers Opticas stores in the Costas, in Fuengirola, Calpe, Jávea and Torrevieja. To find out more, visit

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