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Gross Revenue at ECP Locations Rebounded for the Week of Sept. 13-19, Jobson’s Latest Practice Performance Tracker Shows

By Staff
Wednesday, September 22, 2021 12:33 AM NEW YORK—The national average for gross revenue at ECP locations increased last week, Sept. 13-19, at a rate of 18 index points, regaining most of the 20 index points this category lost the previous week (Sept. 6-12) due to Labor Day falling on Sept. 6. That leaves gross revenue 3 index points above where it was at this point in time (Week 38) during 2019 and 10 index points below where it was during Week 38 of last year, according to Jobson’s most recent Practice Performance Tracker.

The 9th Edition of DaTE Closes With a 55 Percent Increase in Buyers and 130 Italian and International Brands on Hand

By Staff
Tuesday, September 21, 2021 12:02 AM The 9th edition of DaTE, an event focused on the eyewear of the future, closed last week at the Stazione Leopolda di Firenze. Almost 1,500 eyewear professionals and select buyers visited the show, exceeding expectations and emphasizing the importance of in-person events for the industry.

Examining the Roots of the Global Paper Shortage

By Staff
Monday, September 20, 2021 3:50 PM Wood pulp is in short supply lately, and shortages and soaring demand has caused prices for everything from toilet paper to lumber to jump in the past year. The price of wood pulp has risen 50.2 percent over the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The price of paper rose 14.2 percent in the same time period. “Across the nation, printers and direct mail houses are experiencing a massive paper shortage,” the Dot Corp. noted in a recent blog post.

Experts to Explore the Metaverse and New Retail Concepts at Oct. 27 Virtual VM Summit

By Staff
Monday, September 20, 2021 12:24 AM NEW YORK—Three leading technology experts will share their insights about the metaverse and the opportunities it offers brands at the virtual Vision Monday Leadership Summit on October 27. Robin Raskin, founder of the Virtual Events Group and a leading observer of consumer technology trends, will kick off the session by giving Summit attendees a peek inside the metaverse, including a brand experience, an event experience, a game experience for advertising and a fully immersive open-ended experience.

AOA Notes New Pandemic-Relief Funding Opportunities for Providers and a New ‘Grace Period’ for Reporting Use of Relief Funds to HHS

By Staff
Monday, September 20, 2021 12:15 AM ST. LOUIS—The American Optometric Association (AOA) has informed its members that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has established a “grace period” related to reporting use of HHS provider relief funds.

What's Going on With the Supply Chain

By Staff
Friday, September 17, 2021 1:22 PM You might've heard that the supply chain is in a bit of a crunch right now. A myriad of factors, including the pandemic, rising demand and a labor shortage, have come together to create a perfect, brutal storm. Head over to Businessweek for an inside look at what's going on.

Taking a Closer Look at Amazon and How Fast its Business Units May Grow

By Staff
Friday, September 17, 2021 11:11 AM NEW YORK—When Amazon starts a new business, it usually causes a wave of concern among competitors, who have been known to scrap business plans and revise their strategies. To get a closer look at where Amazon is heading, eMarketer recently examined 19 of Amazon’s divisions to “help parse how the company fuels its flywheel to keep driving the virtuous cycle.”

Among the findings: Amazon joined the $1 trillion market cap club in early 2020 and has the first-mover advantage for several businesses, most notably as a commerce platform and a marketing powerhouse.

The research firm now forecasts that Amazon’s share of U.S. e-commerce sales in 2021 will be 41.4 percent, which leads the No. 2 player Walmart with its 7.2 percent market share.

According to CNBC, Amazon’s revenues per minute were about $837,000  in the first quarter of 2021, while Apple was second  with $691,000 per minute.

Noting the growth of Amazon Prime, eMarketer said it now forecasts that well over half (63.4 percent) of all U.S. households will use Amazon Prime this year. For perspective, eMarketer noted that in 2016, just 35.6 percent of U.S. households subscribed to the Prime service.

More U.S. Companies Are Considering Surcharges for Unvaccinated Employees

By Staff
Friday, September 17, 2021 12:04 AM We have reached a point in the pandemic where employers that have worked hard to make it easy for employees to get vaccinated are also considering approaches to make it more difficult for employees to remain unvaccinated.

Majority in U.S. Says Public Health Benefits of COVID-19 Restrictions Worth the Costs, Despite Downsides

By Staff
Thursday, September 16, 2021 3:09 PM More than a year and a half into the coronavirus outbreak, large shares of Americans continue to see the coronavirus as a major threat to public health and the U.S. economy. And despite widespread vaccination efforts, 54 percent of U.S. adults say the worst of the outbreak is still to come, according to a new national survey by Pew Research Center.

The toll of restrictions on public activities in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus is deeply felt across groups: Overwhelming majorities say restrictions have done a lot or some to hurt businesses and economic activity and keep people from living their lives the way they want. Smaller majorities say these restrictions have helped at least some to prevent hospitalizations and deaths from the coronavirus and to slow the spread of the virus.

Still, when asked to issue an overall judgment, Americans on balance view the public health benefits of these restrictions as having been worth the costs (62 percent to 37 percent).

The survey revealed that 73 percent of those ages 18 and older say they’ve received at least one dose of a vaccine for COVID-19, with the vast majority of this group saying they have received all the shots they need to be fully vaccinated. About a quarter of adults, 26 percent, say they have not received a vaccine.

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

Join Us and Register Now for "Creative Disruption: Retail & Healthcare: Upended!," VM's Virtual Leadership Summit Sessions, Oct. 20 and Oct. 27

By Staff
Thursday, September 16, 2021 12:33 AM NEW YORK—The 2021 Vision Monday Leadership Summit will culminate next month in two new dynamic virtual sessions in October, "Retail and Healthcare: Upended! Ripping Up the Rulebook." To be broadcast Oct. 20 and Oct. 27, the virtual sessions extend the 2021 VM Summit series of conversations and presentations under the theme "Creative Disruption," in exclusive two-hour programs designed to help business and professional leaders as they continue to manage through with the impact of the pandemic and the changes it has escalated in both retail and health care.

National Average for Gross Revenue Fell Dramatically for the Week of Sept. 6 to 12, Jobson’s Latest Practice Performance Tracker Shows

By Staff
Thursday, September 16, 2021 12:30 AM NEW YORK—The national average for gross revenue at ECP locations fell dramatically, by 20 index points last week (Sept. 6-12) due to Labor Day falling on Monday, Sept.6. When comparing this with the same week (Week 37) of the previous two years, 2021 was comparable to 2020 because Labor Day also fell within Week 37 of 2020 but not 2019, according to Jobson’s most recent Practice Performance Tracker. All optical sales categories decreased substantially last week because of the Labor Day holiday.

WO Women’s Leadership Conference Live Event Is Scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 2

By Staff
Thursday, September 16, 2021 12:18 AM BOSTON—The third annual Women In Optometry Women’s Leadership Conference will feature ideas and a hands-on series of short workshop sessions to help attendees transform themselves from “leaders” to “thought leaders.” The conference, titled “Expanding Your Spheres of Influence,” will be held in conjunction with the American Academy of Optometry meeting, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021 from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. Keynote speaker Denise Brosseau, sponsored by EssilorLuxottica, CEO of the Thought Leadership Lab and author of the best-seller Ready to Be a Thought Leader?, will deliver a dynamic keynote with workshop sessions to help attendees explore their spheres of influence, whether that sphere is at work, in the community or in advocacy for the profession.

Direct-To-Consumer Brands Drive Shopping Center Boom

By Staff
Thursday, September 16, 2021 12:04 AM The mall may be dead (or being repurposed into an Amazon distribution center), but the strip center is alive and well. The reasons are many. Among them: open-air center rents have come down; customer acquisition costs online have gotten so expensive that physical stores are a better use of capital and … the lingering pandemic has made shoppers wary of large indoor venues.

Retail Imports Remain Strong But Growth Slows as COVID-19 Disruptions Continue, Report Says

By Staff
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 4:27 PM WASHINGTON—Double-digit growth in imports at the nation’s largest retail container ports is slipping to single digits as pandemic-related supply chain disruptions around the world continue, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released last week by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.

“Year-over-year growth isn’t as dramatic as it was earlier because we’re now comparing against months when most stores closed by the pandemic last year had reopened and retailers were stocking up again,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “We expected that. But we’re seeing issues ranging from port closures in Asia to ships lined up waiting to dock at U.S. ports.

U.S. ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 2.19 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in July, the latest month for which final numbers are available. That was up 2 percent from June and up 14.2 percent from a year earlier. A TEU is one 20-foot container or its equivalent.

Ports have not reported August numbers yet, but Global Port Tracker projected the month at 2.27 million TEU, which would be up 7.8 percent year-over-year. That would be the busiest August on record. But it would fall short of the 2.37 million TEU forecast for August a month ago, which would have broken May’s record of 2.33 million TEU for the largest number of containers imported during a single month since NRF began tracking imports in 2002. Click here to read the full story from the NRF.

What to Know About the Mu Variant

By Staff
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 12:21 PM It seems like new COVID-19 variants are popping up every day, but according to WebMD, "only four so far have raised enough alarm to warrant a World Health Organization 'variant of concern' designation—Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta." Most recently, the Mu variant has appeared, and the WHO has classified it as a "variant of interest." Head over to WebMD to learn what we know so far about the Mu variant.