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Belgians take dim view of designer specs

Published on 08/02/2005

8 February 2005

BRUSSELS – Belgians who wear glasses are not wooed by the latest looks from Gucci or Burberry, a survey has revealed.

The study carried out by TNS Dimarso at the request of Pearle Opticiens showed Belgians opt for long-lasting, functional specs rather than treating them as fashion items.

More than half the population needs glasses (53 percent), with 35,000 new customers heading to opticians every year.

However, the TNS Dimarso results show opticians’ turnover nevertheless shrank by 2 percent last year.

The problem is that Belgians hang on to their glasses for at least four years before getting a new pair.

They tend to replace them only when they have been broken or lost.

When they do replace them, Belgians of all ages pay most attention to the quality in relation to the price.

While they think a pair of glasses under EUR 200 is probably too cheap to be of good quality, they also underestimate the average cost.

Those surveyed thought an average pair cost around EUR 236 – for the frames and the lenses – while the reality is that they cost over EUR 380.

At least 60 percent of those who buy glasses in Belgium are over 50 years old, meaning opticians should be catering to an older market.

Twelve percent of customers under 35 are opting to wear contact lenses instead of glasses.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news