Over the last five years, a fall in the average price of spectacles has partly offset gains in the number of basic optometry services
Melbourne, Australia (PRWEB) April 30, 2015
The Australian Optometry and Optical Dispensing industry is currently contending with changes to its operating environment. These include regulatory changes and increasing competition. In view of these variables, the industry is expected to post annualised growth of just 0.8% over the five years through 2014-15. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Arna Richardson, “over this period, a fall in the average price of spectacles has partly offset gains in the number of basic optometry services.” Industry revenue is projected to be worth an estimated $2.9 billion following an expected contraction of 1.6% over 2014-15 due to a 5.0% cut to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) optometry rebate from 1 January 2015. However, the lifting of the fee cap, effective from the same date, will allow optometrists to set their own fees and is likely to result in the implementation of new business models.
Similarly to the retail sector, the industry has had to adapt to increasing online competition. “Overseas eyewear retailers, with sophisticated supply chains and global networks, have been making their presence felt, forcing Australian retailers to build their online presence quickly,” says Richardson. Over 2014-15, a number of enterprises will roll out complementary e-commerce platforms that extend their business presence and ability to offer after-sales care. The volume of industry services and products is expected to grow further over the next five years, driven by Australia's demographics, accelerated replacement cycles and growing incidences of digital eye strain. However, intensifying competitive conditions and downward pricing pressures will continue to partially offset the full benefits of the anticipated volume growth. Recent regulatory changes will mean that the number of optometrists bulk-billing will fall as optometrists change their business models and billing practices in favour of private fees. Industry revenue is currently projected to grow over the next five years. However, any further reductions to Medicare assistance to the industry will restrict revenue growth.
Overall, the Optometry and Optical Dispensing industry displays a low level of market share concentration. Major players include Luxottica South Pacific Holdings and Specsavers. The optical dispensing segment of the industry displays higher concentration. Chains and franchises are dominant in this segment. The majority of industry businesses employ fewer than 20 people, including about 35.0% of enterprises that have no employees. The majority of optometrists are in private practice, either employed or self-employed. Optical dispensers are increasingly employing or contracting optometrists, or offering franchise agreements to provide both optometry and optical dispensing services.
For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Optometry and Optical Dispensing industry in Australia report page.
The Optometry and Optical Dispensing industry includes establishments with registered optometrists, optical dispensers or orthoptists. Optometrists are primarily engaged in testing eyesight, diagnosing sight defects and prescribing or dispensing spectacles and contact lenses. The main activity of optical dispensers is dispensing spectacles or contact lenses. Orthoptists diagnose and treat ocular muscle disorders.
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