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


For the second week in a row, optical sales experienced declines. These declines were more significant for the week ending July 5 than during the previous week ending June 28, and they affected all regions and all service/product categories. At least two factors likely caused this overall downturn, a national holiday weekend celebrated across the country and a surge in COVID-19 cases throughout many states. With both factors affecting optical sales, this downward trend was experienced thoughout the country and was not limited only to those areas experiencing a surge of COVID-19 cases. Gross revenue and exams/refractions had the largest decline of 12 index points, while contact lens sales had the smallest decline of 6 index points. The other two categories, frame units and lens pairs both fell by 10 index points.


Regionally, the decline in optical sales was across the board, hovering between 9 and 14 index points for all service/product categories in all regions, except for contact lens sales, which declined at a lower rate, ranging from flat to -8 index points in the South and Northeast. While COVID-19 cases are on the rise in many states, this downturn cannot be solely attributed to this cause, as the Northeast, which is down in COVID-19 cases, is also down in optical sales at a rate that is comparable to the other regions, so it is evident the national holiday weekend had a major impact in all regions as well.

*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.