Blue filter glasses, which protect the eyes from digital screen overuse, now accounts for more than half their sales, compared to about one-third last year for a few retailers.
“People have always been curious about blue filter lenses and zero-power computer glasses. Now, parents are asking — If we cannot control screen time anymore, what do we do to ensure kids don’t strain their eyes or develop power?” said Shalini Gupta, marketing head at Titan Eyeplus.
Most new buyers are employees using laptops, mobile phones or televisions for work and entertainment, but the segment is seeing increased enquiries for children.
Prescription lens giant Essilor, the maker of Crizal and Varilux brand of lenses, said sales are mostly at full-price and that the average selling price has remained unchanged from before the Covid-19 virus outbreak.
“People are not discounting their spend on protective eyewear unlike other industries where consumers are watching their wallets due to the economic situation,” said Maarten Geraets, CEO of Essilor South Asia.
As masks have become mandatory at offices and public places, anti-fogging lens is evolving as a high-priority category, he added.
As a result, protective eyewear have outpaced sunglasses for eyewear companies, since malls and stores have been shuttered since the lockdown was put in place in late March.
“Zero-power clear glasses as a category did not exist for us pre-crisis, except for limited sale to armed forces and industries. Health dominates consumer mindset now,” said Akash Goyle, country manager and managing director at Luxottica India.
The Italian eyewear maker is launching clear sunglasses by Ray Ban and Vogue to stay relevant.
Leading ecommerce marketplaces, too, are partnering sellers to expand their safety eyewear collections.
Nishit Garg, vice president for Flipkart Fashion, said, “Flipkart sellers have witnessed more than a 100% growth post-lockdown for protective eyewear that can be worn while working on a computer.”
Within eyewear, sunglasses continue to garner majority share of the business, but firms like Amazon India have reached out to fashion brands and sellers to ramp-up their selection of anti-glare glasses.
“Share of anti-glare computer glasses within eyewear has increased fourfold compared to pre-lockdown levels,” said Arun Sirdeshmukh, business head for Amazon Fashion.
Similarly, ShopClues has seen about 20% of eyewear orders from anti-glare glasses, doubling from pre-lockdown levels.