Retail in Asia


Japan’s Aigan exits China

Japanese eyewear brand Aigan revealed on November 29 it plans to exit the Chinese market, as the impact of the coronavirus continues to hinder company profits.

The Osaka-based company made the announcement as part of its most recent trading update on Monday, according to a Nikkei Asia report.

SEE ALSO: China’s retail sales made a shaky comeback in Q3 2022

As part of its results, the company forecast a group net loss of 425 million yen (USD 3 million) for the fiscal year ending March 2023, widening from its the previously forecast 315 million yen. Aigan cited losses related to liquidating its Chinese unit, estimating them at 110 million yen.

Aigan’s Chinese business has lost money for seven straight years from 2015, the report added. Aigan first entered China in 1994, before expanding to six stores in Beijing and Tianjin, including franchisees.

Founded in 1961, the company operates eyeglass specialty store chains offering eyeglasses, hearing aids, sunglasses, and other related products.

According to Statista, China’s eyewear market amounts to 13.11 billion USD in 2022, with the market’s largest segment being eyewear frames, holding a market volume of 5.18 billion USD in 2022, as luxury brands such as Jins, Ray-Ban and Zoffs are providing fashionable sunglasses frames at affordable prices.

SEE ALSO: China bans celebrity endorsement under ‘traditional virtue’ missive

According to the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, China also has a large myopia rate of 33 percent, particularly among young consumers. More than 400 million Chinese people are myopic and wear glasses. China has reached a high record in myopia, today up to 90 percent of the Chinese population are short-sighted while 60 years ago, this number only reached 10 percent to 20 percent.

Looking ahead, China’s eyewear market is set to grow annually by 9.13% CAGR, from now until 2027, added Statista.