Lux Research Picks Five Transformative Technologies and Trends

By Staff
Monday, November 11, 2019 4:06 PM Lux Research recently released its annual list of technologies and trends that will transform the way we live, work, and play over the next decade. You can view the list in its entirety by referencing the accompanying infographic.

5G networks claim the top spot in Lux's "20 for 20" report, 12 spots over 2019's iteration. In fact, 11 of the 20 technologies on this list did not even appear on the previous year's list, and six of the nine returning technologies moved up in ranking.

Dollar Stores’ Performance Stands Out in Tough Retail Environment

By Staff
Friday, November 8, 2019 9:43 AM NEW YORK—In what many analysts are calling a record year for U.S. retail store closures, dollar stores appear to be doing great, according to recent analysis of the sector by eMarketer. “Not only are major players opening a significant number of new locations, but more consumers are regularly shopping for groceries at dollar stores than any other time in the past five years,” the report noted. “But dollar stores, which have been praised as survivors of the ongoing retail apocalypse, could face new pressure from Amazon come 2020.”

According to data compiled by Coresight Research, the top three U.S. retailers with the most store openings in the January-April period of 2019 were all dollar stores. Collectively, Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar opened more than 1,500 new locations.

Note, though, that while Dollar Tree Inc.—which owns both Dollar Tree and Family Dollar—announced the closing of several hundred Family Dollar locations set for 2019, the combined opening of more than 500 new locations helped offset the loss. Dollar General Corp., which is Dollar Tree Inc.’s main competitor, has an even more aggressive growth plan, opening close to 1,000 new locations in the first four months of 2019, Coresight Research reported.

On the flip side, conventional and specialty retailers such as Payless ShoeSource, Gymboree and Charlotte Russe lead the way in terms of the most stores shuttered in the January-April period of 2019.

ECP and Parent Survey from Harris Poll Shows the Significant Need for Myopia Education

By Staff
Thursday, November 7, 2019 12:01 PM SAN RAMN, Calif.—One in four children in the U.S. is myopic, but according to The Harris Poll survey results released yesterday by CooperVision, only 33 percent of parents know what that term means, or how it can affect their children’s future eyesight. This corroborates the finding that 97 percent of ECPs agree parents should know more about the ways they can help protect children’s vision. The survey was conducted among U.S. eyecare professionals (ECPs), including optometrists and ophthalmologists, and more than 1,000 U.S. parents with children between 8-15 years old regarding their knowledge of myopia.

According to the research, two-thirds of eyecare professionals (66 percent) have seen an increase in the prevalence of pediatric myopia in their practice over the last 5 to10 years. This aligns with data from the American Optometric Association (AOA) showing myopia has become increasingly prevalent in recent years in the U.S., with an increase of 25 percent in the past 40 years.

Around one quarter of parents (26 percent) have a nearsighted child, and about three quarters of those children were diagnosed between the ages of 3 and 12. But even though this condition is increasing, and the severity is getting worse, there are many misunderstandings surrounding myopia, what it is and why it is important for children to have their eyesight checked regularly by an ECP.

Share of Young Adults Not Working or in School Is at a 30-Year Low in U.S.

By Staff
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 12:01 PM The share of young adults who are not engaged in work or education has gone down gradually in recent decades and is now at its lowest point in 30 years (13.7 percent), according to a recent survey from Pew Research Center.

The downward trend in this figure—sometimes referred to as the “disconnection rate”—reflects in part the nation’s tight labor markets and falling unemployment, but also higher levels of engagement among young women. In 2018, only 14.4 percent of 18- to 24-year-old women were neither working nor enrolled in school, down from 21.7 percent in 1989. 

A similar share of young men (13 percent) were not working or going to school in 2018. This is up marginally from 11.2 percent in 1989, but the share has fluctuated substantially over that period, peaking at 18.6 percent in 2010 in the aftermath of the Great Recession. 

More young women are in school or working today compared with 30 years ago in part because fewer of them are mothers. Some 12.5 percent of 18- to 24-year-old women lived with a child in 2018, down from 25.0 percent in 1989. This is largely attributable to the dramatic decline in teen births in recent years. Young women who are mothers are more likely to be disconnected from education and work.

Demand for Specialists Drives Physician Recruitment Shortages

By Staff
Tuesday, November 5, 2019 9:28 AM In a continuing trend, hospitals, medical groups, and other health care facilities are seeking more medical specialists and fewer primary care physicians, according to an annual report tracking physician starting salaries and other recruiting incentives.

Prepared by Merritt Hawkins, a leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare, the 2019 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives tracks a sample of 3,131 physician and advanced practitioner recruiting engagements that the firm conducted from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019. Now in its 26th year, the report indicates that in the 12 months covered by the report, Merritt Hawkins has been conducting a growing number of search assignments for medical specialists while conducting fewer searches for primary care physicians relative to recent years.

How Robotics Is Transforming the Retail Value Chain

By Staff
Monday, November 4, 2019 3:01 PM Retailers are using robotics to transform their operations by automating and simplifying the processes involved in production, warehousing and logistics, and last-mile delivery. In store, robotics is used for inventory management and shopper services.

These topline observations are offered by Coresight Research, which has published a new report that takes a deep dive into how robotics is transforming the retail value chain. As Coresight notes, robotics is increasing efficiencies and enabling greater speed to market, customization and new ways to engage with shoppers.

Deloitte Survey Forecasts Strong Holiday Sales for Retail

By Staff
Friday, November 1, 2019 9:38 AM NEW YORK—It’s looking like a cheerful holiday season for retail in 2019, according to a Deloitte holiday retail survey. This year’s survey marks the 34th time that the firm has issued a holiday sales forecast, and this year’s shopping season looks to be as good as or better than most past holiday seasons.

In the survey, which polled 4,410 respondents across the United States, Deloitte found that the per-household holiday expenditure in 2019 will average $1,496, with the top 20 percent of households accounting for 60 percent of total dollars spent.

The survey also found that shoppers of all ages are more likely to shop on Cyber Monday than Black Friday, and are expected to spending 59 percent of their holiday budget online, compared with 36 percent in store. Deloitte projects that e-commerce sales will rise 14 percent to 18 percent, significantly outpacing the 11.2 percent gain in 2018. Sales are projected to fall in a range of $144 billion to $149 billion. Use of smartphones for holiday shopping is expected to grow 6 percent, with other device use remaining flat.

A few other key takeaways from the Deloitte survey:

• The bulk of holiday spending ($596) will go to experiences and celebrations—including entertaining at home, socializing away from home, travel and restaurants.
• Promotions will influence 81 percent of consumers this holiday season.
• Approximately two-thirds of consumers (66 percent) will allocate spending to experiences.

Many Predict Jump of More Than 10 Percent of Women ODs by 2030, WIO Survey Says

By Staff
Thursday, October 31, 2019 9:47 AM The respondents of a recent Women In Optometry Pop-up Poll were varied on their responses of the percentage of women in the profession in the year 2030. Thirty-nine percent saw a jump to 56 percent to 60 percent in the next decade; that's up more than 10 percent from 44 percent women now. Twenty-four percent of poll participants said they believed there would be 51 percent to 55 percent women ODs in the year 2030, and 18 percent said 61 percent to 65 percent women ODs.

Expanded scope of care and medical services and myopia management were two areas that ODs rated as strong positives in the future of the industry. Co-management, offering specialty services, an expanding Medicare population and refraction services all also rated as areas of potential in 2030.

Managed care reimbursement poised itself as the strongest negative impact on the profession, according to respondents, and many others cited health care reform, private equity and online competition as other disruptors.

Click here to read the full story from Women In Optometry.

Majority of Americans Say Parents Are Doing Too Much for Their Young Adult Children

By Staff
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 2:23 PM Financial independence is one of the many markers used to designate the crossover from childhood into young adulthood, and it’s a milestone most Americans (64 percent) think young adults should reach by the time they are 22 years old, according to a new Pew Research Center study. But that’s not the reality for most young adults who’ve reached this age.

The share of young adults who could be considered “financially independent” from their parents by their early 20s—an assessment based on their annual income—has gone down somewhat in recent decades. A new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data finds that, in 2018, 24 percent of young adults were financially independent by age 22 or younger, compared with 32 percent in 1980.

Looking more broadly at young adults ages 18 to 29, the share who are financially independent has been largely stable in recent decades. Overall, young men are more likely than young women to be financially independent, but this gender gap has diminished significantly.

Click here to read the full story from Pew Research Center.

Ranking Instagram’s Top Earners

By Staff
Tuesday, October 29, 2019 12:21 PM An analysis by Buzz Bingo recently ranked celebrities by their annual average earnings from Instagram. Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo tops the list, raking in an estimated $47.8 million annually from paid Instagram posts. As Statista data journalist Niall McCarthy points out, that’s more money than he makes playing soccer at Juventus. Ronaldo's 187 million followers give him an enormous reach and companies pay up to $1 million for a single post on his account. On average, he receives $975,000 per post, McCarthy notes.

How Eyeglasses Work and The Tech That Helps

By Staff
Monday, October 28, 2019 3:21 PM All About Vision (AAV), a consumer web site owned and operated by Essilor of America, has produced an entertaining and useful infographic that illustrates some of the highlights in eyeglass history. Along with the infographic, AAV offers some fun facts, below, about the past and present of eyewear, plus some predictions about where eyewear and vision technology is heading.

Eyecare practitioners may already be familiar with much of this information, but it’s nice to have it laid out in this easily accessible format that patients will probably find educational.

IAB’s Internet Ad Revenue Report Shows Almost 17 Percent Growth in First Half

By Staff
Friday, October 25, 2019 9:38 AM Internet ad revenues in the U.S. totaled $57.9 billion for the first half year of 2019, with the second quarter accounting for approximately $29.9 billion, according to a report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). The first quarter accounted for approximately $28.0 billion.

The first-half revenue total represented a 16.9 percent increase compared with the 2018 first-half total of $49.5 billion, the report noted.

Advertising revenues delivered on mobile devices totaled $39.9 billion in the first half of 2019, a 29.1 percent increase from the year-ago total of $30.9 billion. Advertising delivered on a mobile device now makes up 69 percent of total internet ad revenues, the IAB report noted.

“The uptick in revenues continues to be significant,” IAB president and chief executive officer Randall Rothenberg said in an announcement. “IAB has joined forces with Privacy for America to advocate for national laws that will make it easier to protect consumer privacy, while continuing to fuel the digital economy. Further, innovation will likely be stifled when companies are forced to redirect resources to comply with an unwieldy patchwork of state-by-state regulations.”

Women Are Not as Optimistic About Tech

By Staff
Thursday, October 24, 2019 2:50 PM A recent report by Growth From Knowledge, a company which provides answers for key business questions about consumers, (GFK) found that women are less optimistic about the effect technology has on society, according to a recent feature from Statista.com. Around half of U.S. women surveyed were optimistic about technology’s role in society while, on average, 57 percent of men were optimistic. Millennial men and women held views that were close to the averages for both genders, with a clear break between men and women. 

For Generation Z, there was a much starker divide. Only about a third of women, who were born after 1998, held optimistic views about how technology will impact society, while the men in that age group were right around the average for the wider survey. 

Generation Z’s deviation in public opinion could be the result of their digital nativity. People born after 1998 have grown up surrounded by computers and the internet, meaning they may be more skeptical of the effect technology has on society. The pessimism from Generation Z women specifically, and the increased skepticism from women generally, may be related to the fact that women are more likely to face gender-based harassment online.

Projecting the Value of the Total Augmented & Mixed Reality Market

By Staff
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 10:03 AM In a newly published whitepaper, Juniper Research found that the global value of the mobile mixed reality market will exceed $43 billion by 2024, rising from $8 billion in 2019. Mixed reality overlays interactive digital images and videos onto the real world through a smartphone, tablet or smart glasses.

Among Juniper Research’s key findings:
• Juniper Research has identified 5G networks and edge computing as two key emerging technologies that will accelerate the development of mixed reality services in 2020.

• Smart glasses vendors must incorporate hardware to enable 5G and edge computing capabilities. Enhanced content and services enabled by these technologies will usher in the second wave of smart glasses adoption by increasing the end users’ capabilities.

Most U.S. Adults Intend to Participate in 2020 Census, But Some Demographic Groups Are Unsure

By Staff
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 1:58 PM As the 2020 U.S. census approaches, Americans overwhelmingly are aware of it, and more than eight-in-ten (84 percent) say they definitely or probably will participate, a new Pew Research Center survey finds. Still, 16 percent express at least some uncertainty about responding, with higher shares saying this among some demographic groups.

Black and Hispanic adults, as well as those with lower income levels, are more likely to say they probably or definitely will not participate in the census, or that they might or might not. Black and Hispanic adults have been undercounted in the past, while lower-income adults are classified as a “hard to count” population, according to Census Bureau research.

Age is also an important predictor of whether people say they may participate, even after controlling for other factors. Young adults—those ages 18 to 29—are least likely to be on board of the four age groups included in this analysis.

Click here to read the full story from Pew Research Center.