Coronavirus BRIEFING

U.S. Optical Business Continues Upward Trend, According to COVID-19 Business Tracker for Week Ending May 17


NEW YORK—The U.S. optical business continued to trend upward as more optical locations started to reopen. The results of the Tracker reflect the fifth week of positive metrics showed a consistent rate of growth in all sales categories, according to the latest COVID-19 Business Tracker. On a national level, all product/service categories grew substantially. For the week ending Sunday May 17, frame units were the standout, growing at a rate of 21 index points, compared with gross revenue, exams/refractions, and lens pairs, all growing at index levels in the teens. This brought all categories to around 60 index points, a major improvement over the index levels of teens and single digits when these optical business metrics bottomed out in early April. (All except contact lenses, which only dipped as low as 36 index points in mid-April.)

In its measurements of regional business around the U.S. for the week, the COVID-19 Performance Practice Tracker shows that every product category in every region showed improvement. Most growth was consistent across the board at index rates in the mid-teens for all products in all regions. Contact lenses again followed their own path as they have since monitoring these metrics began, also increasing in sales but at a slightly lower rate hovering around 10 index points and as low as 8 index points in the Northeast.

Per VisionWatch, consumer's inclination to postpone eyewear purchases also declined for the 7-day period, compared to the prior weeks.

Jobson Optical Research is tracking optical business metrics for the U.S. to determine the trajectory of the downturn, monitor its duration and uncover which regions first begin heading in a positive direction. The Practice Performance Tracker shows national data and illustrates Regional Breakouts of ECP practice metrics across several measures of business, including ECP gross revenues, exams and refractions, frame units, spectacle lens pairs and contact lens pairs sold by ECPs.

This data is compiled by Jobson Research from GPN and ABB Analyze data. Another element of the report illustrates Consumer Sentiments about the COVID-19 response and purchasing intentions, with data supplied by The Vision Council.

Click to view the COVID-19 Practice Performance Tracker for the week ending May 17, 2020.