During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jobson Optical Research is tracking national and regional optical business metrics for the U.S.


Business Continues Upward

The optical business again experienced steady growth in all product/service categories, marking six weeks of increases. On a national level, the growth was again substantial, measuring at a rate of index points in the double digits. Business increases ranged from 10 index points for contact lenses to 12 index points for gross revenue. The three other categories being tracked (exams/refractions, frame units, lens pairs) grew at a rate of 11 index points each.

This continued growth is clearly due to optical businesses reopening across the country. According to the results of Jobson Optical Research’s most recent Coronavirus ECP survey, 81 percent of respondents state that they are open at this point. The substantial increase in purchases appears because patients coming in now are filling urgent needs. Those without pent-up demand are likely holding off on appointments.


Regionally, both the Northeast and West still lag behind the U.S. overall and the South and the Midwest specifically, but both the Northeast and West also made strong strides toward catching up over the past week. In all product/service categories (except contact lenses), the West increased business at a rate of 15 or 16 index points, while the Northeast grew at 14 index points across the board. This brings the West closer to the U.S. overall average for all categories, while the Northeast still has a lot of catching up to do as it remains at about 20 index points behind the overall country in all categories. This reflects the regional reactions to reopening as the Northeast, among those hardest hit by the pandemic, gets back to business more slowly than the rest of the country.

*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.

Please note that practices that use practice analytic systems tend to skew a bit larger and have higher revenue than practices that do not.

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 thru May 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.