Given the soaring brand consciousness among the consumers and exposure to global brands, the market for eyewear is on a roller coaster ride with a growth rate of 10 per cent per annum. Sensing the enormous potential in this highly unorganized market -- where opticians used to decide brand -- a bevy of international players including the likes of Safilo S.p.A, Luxottica, Essilor International have set base in India.
While the market potential is exciting the retailers, the parallel markets and counterfeits presents a big market challenge. As per a report by Technavio, on average, manufacturers lose between 15 and 20 per cent of their market revenues annually due to fake products.
In a bid to curb the online counterfeit market, Luxottica owned Ray-Ban has converted its India website into an ecommerce platform, which previously functioned only as a reference point.
The online platform of Ray-Ban will be managed by Bengaluru-based firm Ace Turtle that also manages eCommerce websites for fashion and lifestyle brands of Puma, Flying Machine and French Connection, among others.
Commenting on the counterfeit market, Akash Goyle, country manager for Luxottica India said, “Luxottica is fully committed against counterfeiting, and this is demonstrated by the implementation of numerous activities: from the constant monitoring of the main counterfeit product suppliers to the partnership with local law enforcement and custom operations to seize the products, and ultimately the activation of legal actions against perpetrators."
Ray-Ban has been hit badly because of the proliferation of fake products on online platforms. Last year, Luxottica Group, the parent organisation of Ray-Ban, dragged ShopClues.com to the Delhi High Court, accusing the ecommerce site of hosting counterfeit products and misleading customers by offering heavy discounts.
While Sunglasses and contact lenses are the most affected product categories by counterfeiting in the eyewear market, brand like Ray-ban, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton and Versace are some of the brands most affected by counterfeiting.
Again in January, Luxottica filed cases against a number of eRetailers including CraftsVilla and Sytlemyway for allegedly marketing fake Ray-Ban products, according to the Delhi High Court website.
Luxottica last month received order from court to ban a local firm from allegedly copying Oakley eyewear products that (worn and endorsed by cricketers Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh).
Since November, India allows global single brand retailers companies that sell items under one label to offer their products through company-owned ecommerce portals. Ray-Ban is the latest among a host of global firms including Puma and Adidas that launched their own ecommerce platforms in India, at a time when online retailing is growing at a fast clip in the country.