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


Once again, the U.S. optical business showed positive signs of slight growth even while the pandemic’s “new phase” has become “extraordinarily widespread,” as announced by Deborah Birx, MD, White House physician overseeing the coronavirus response. Many states actually experienced a decrease in the number of coronavirus cases over the past week, according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker, although that appears in part due to the fact that so many had already reached a peak of the highest number of cases ever in those states. Small upticks in the U.S. optical business over the past week ranged from 2 index points for contact lenses to 4 index points for frame units and lens pairs.


Although the Midwestern region had the largest number of states with an increase in coronavirus cases last week (according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker), the Midwest also experienced some of the largest increases in optical product sales (up 12 index points for frame units and up 11 index points for lens pairs). Also with increasing COVID-19 cases, the West saw increases in service/product categories across the board (exams up 10 index points, frame units up 7, lens pairs up 6, contact lenses up 5, and gross revenue up 3). Contact lenses was the only category to experience any decline (-3 index points in both the South and Midwest).

*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.