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


The U.S. optical business held its own even while COVID-19 spread throughout the country over the past week. With COVID-19 cases dramatically increasing throughout the United States, even in some Northeastern states where the virus has previously been on the decline (according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker), the U.S. optical business remained either flat or declined only slightly across all service/product categories. On a national level, gross revenue and lens pairs declined by 1 index point, while exams/refractions, frame units, and contact lenses all remained flat.


The optical business in the Northeast experienced the most growth over the past week. In the South, Midwest, and West, the optical business declined for the most part, except for contact lenses (up 2 index points) and exams/refractions (up 1 index point) in the South. This reflects the rise of COVID-19 cases throughout those regions. Nearly all U.S. states in the South, Midwest, and West experienced an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases over the past week, according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker. The product categories with the largest increases were frame units and lens pairs in the Northeast, both of which grew at a rate of 5 index points. Exams/refractions in the West felt the sharpest decline of 4 index points.

*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.