Gender Shares of Frame Sales vs Population by Census Division

by | Jun 9, 2023 | Data Insights and Industry Trends


When considering your frame inventory mix, several factors need to be taken into account, including price, brand, material, color, style, and frame sales by gender. Achieving the right balance in your frame assortment requires aligning it with your target market. This can be determined by analyzing your current practice results and the potential of your nearby trade area. Ideally, the products that sell well in your location should match the preferences of the local population, indicating successful positioning. If there is a mismatch between your assortment and the local profile, it may be worth exploring untapped opportunities by making changes to your inventory.


To determine if your assortment matches the local profile, you can analyze sales within your practice based on price, brand, gender, and age, and compare them to the nearby population. This analysis will help identify any gaps. In previous posts, we discussed demand based on price tiers for a regional understanding, as well as the relationship between brand count and capture rate for efficient inventory management.1,2 In this article, we will focus on exploring frame sales and population shares by gender and US Census Division.3


We analyzed over 18 million frame transactions that took place between January 2019 and April 2023 across 2,200+ eyecare practices in the GPN database throughout the US. Our analysis looked at the share of frame purchasers by gender and geography, comparing the gender ratios of frame sales to those in the US population.4


In our sample, females accounted for 55.5% of frame purchases across the US, while males accounted for 38.8%. The remaining 5.7% had unknown gender. The female share of frames purchased varied by Census Division, ranging from 53.0% in the Pacific to 59.1% in the ES Central Division. The male share of frames purchased ranged from 36.7% in the S Atlantic Division to 41.4% in the Mountain states.  

Nationwide, females account for 50.7% of the population, males 49.3%. Females are lowest in the Mountain states (49.9%) and highest in the S Atlantic states (51.6%). Males are the reverse: lowest in the S Atlantic states (48.4%) and highest in the Mountain states (50.1%).  

Nationally, females make up 50.7% of the population, while males account for 49.3%. Females have the lowest share in the Mountain states (49.9%) and the highest share in the S Atlantic states (51.6%). Males exhibit the reverse pattern, with the lowest share in the S Atlantic states (48.4%) and the highest share in the Mountain states (50.1%).

Assessing the difference between sales and population shares provides insight into the actual sales share versus the potential share for each gender. On average, the portion of female frame sales across all divisions is 5.3% higher than their population share. Sales of frames to males, on average, fall 10.3% short of their population share.

The Mid Atlantic states show the smallest differential (2.8%) between female share of sales and female share of the population. The WN Central Division exhibits the largest female gap, a 7.9% share of sales over the share of the population. The gap between frame sales and population proportions for males is highest in the S Atlantic states, where sales fall 11.7% below the male population share. The male gap is narrowest in the Mountain states, where sales lag the population share by -8.7%.


The discrepancy between gender share of frame purchases and population can be attributed to several factors. It is estimated that 67.8% of adult women wear eyeglasses compared to 60.8%5 of men. Additionally, the purchase cycle for men is likely longer than for women.

Changing this dynamic is not easy. On a micro-level there are some action steps you can take to help close the gap in male frame purchases. Compare the ratio of male to female frame purchases in your office to the share by gender of the nearby population. A localEyes report from focalCenter will inform you of the gender splits and many other consumer profile tips. This will help you align your assortment with your trade area. 6

Don’t hold on to the stereotype that men don’t buy.  Cater to what appeals to the male shopper who typically has a sense of urgency. Accommodate their preference for speed, convenience and online purchasing7 policy to cancel stock order items placed on backorder unless you have a specific patient in mind for the frame.









About Industry Trends

Through robust analysis of anonymized data, we are able to develop insights, profiles, and a deeper understanding of market results and benchmarks.

GPN aggregates millions of transactions from thousands of eyecare providers, and focalCenter performs rigorous analysis for delivering timely and precise micro and macro dashboards with interactive business intelligence to the eyecare industry. Please feel free to contact us for more information on growing your eyecare business with data-driven strategies.

By Ron Krefman, OD

Finding solutions in data science.


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