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


Even as the majority of the country experiences increasing COVID-19 cases, the U.S. optical business is holding its own with slight increases in all service/product categories and in all regions of the country. The latest Jobson Optical Research Coronavirus ECP Survey confirms these seemingly incongruous metrics for the period of July 10-15: While 97 percent of eye care professionals responding confirmed that their location is open, those saying that their area has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases over the last week or so jumped from 48 percent for the period of June 19-23 to 72 percent for the period of July 10-15. Still, all service/product categories showed a slight uptick nationally, ranging from an increase of only 1 index point for contact lenses and 2 index points for frame units and lens pairs to 3 index units for exams/refractions.


The Midwest, West, and South all show increasing cases of COVID-19, with the Northeast in general either leveling off or decreasing in cases, according to statistics found on the CDC COVID Data Tracker. However, all service/product categories except one (contact lenses in the South down 1 index point) showed some sales growth over the course of last week. These small increases for all optical categories in all regions indicate that business continues even as the pandemic spreads. Whether this trend will continue is yet to be determined. The optical sales increases experienced regionally range from the smallest increase of 1 index point (gross revenue in the South and frame units and lens pairs in the Northeast) to the largest increase of 5 index points for exams/refractions in the West.

*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/EDGEPro 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/EDGEPro, ABB Analyze, and The Vision Council directly.

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