During the COVID-19 pandemic, many eye care practices across the country have temporarily shut down and business has dropped off. Jobson Optical Research is tracking optical business metrics for the U.S. to determine the trajectory of the downturn, monitor its duration, and uncover which regions first begin heading in a positive direction.


The decline in U.S. optical business has affected most product and service categories starting with the week of March 9-15. Based on the year-to-date data, the only product category to increase prior to joining in the overall decline was contact lenses. All of the other categories (gross revenue, exams/refractions, frame units, and lens pairs) began their steep decline at the same time and remain headed down based on the latest metrics gathered by Jobson Optical Research.


With all but eight states as of today enacting statewide stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, 67 percent of practices surveyed have closed as of March 30, according to Jobson Optical Research. By tracking numbers since the beginning of this year, it has become clear that the optical business began experiencing a dramatic decline in most categories and in all major regions throughout the country starting with the week of March 9-15. That decline continues.

The index baseline was developed by Jobson Research from total sales from an average seven days in the first quarter of 2019. This index baseline is equivalent to a score of 100. All other time periods going forward are calculated as a percent increase or decrease from the 100 baseline index of that period. This index is intended to show directional and magnitudinal change that the market is experiencing. Actual index scores are arbitrary meaning the baseline of 100 is simply used as a benchmark. Jobson Research shall not be held liable for any use or misuse of the data described and/or contained herein.

Source: GPN and ABB Analyze contributed anonymous sales data used to determine gross revenue, exams/refractions, frame units, lens pairs, and contact lens boxes. Data was collected from approximately 3,500 independent eye care practices.


Consumer Sentiments

* Percentage of Rx eyewear users that are planning to postpone or cancel their Rx eyewear purchase until conditions are better. "If you need new eyeglasses or contact lenses while COVID-19 is still a threat, which of the following actions are you likely to take?"
** Selected answer option 8, 9 or 10 for the question "On a scale of 1-10 (were 1 = No concern at all and 10 = Extremely concerned) how concerned are you over the recent global COVID-19 threat and outbreak?"

Source: The Vision Council VisionWatch COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Study: February and March editions

For additional information, you may reach out to GPN, ABB Analyze, and The Vision Council directly.

For more information from Jobson Research contact jwaller@jobson.com.