NEW YORK—Entering the third week of declines, U.S. optical sales fell further last week (Feb. 8-14), according to the latest Jobson Practice Performance Tracker. Decreases in national optical sales were slightly larger this past week when compared with the two previous weeks. Last week, all service/product categories decreased by either -3 index points (gross revenue, exams/refractions) or -4 index points (frame units, lens pairs, contact lenses). That compares with smaller declines ranging from -1 index point to -3 index points over the previous two weeks.

Decreases in optical sales last week were most likely due to weather conditions impacting travel and keeping people indoors and off the roads rather than because of coronavirus cases, which are actually decreasing in all 50 states, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center

With robust optical sales over the course of last week (Feb. 8-14), the Northeast regained the ground lost the previous week, while optical sales in other regions of the country decreased at smaller levels this past week, all most likely due to weather rather than declining cases of coronavirus. Optical sales in the Northeast increased last week at rates ranging from 12 index points (for contact lenses) to 15 index points (for gross revenue and exams/refractions), likely due to pent-up demand from the previous week when a major snowstorm kept consumers off the streets for a couple of days.

Alternatively, the Midwest and South experienced declines last week (ranging from -5 index points for exams/refractions in the Midwest to -7 index points for gross revenue in the Midwest and in the South along with exams/refractions in the South, likely due to unusually cold and icy conditions in these regions. The West declined to a smaller extent at rates of either -2 index points (exams/refractions, frame units, contact lenses) or -3 index points (gross revenue, lens pairs).

The Jobson COVID-19 Practice Performance Tracker data is compiled by Jobson Research from GPN/EDGEPro 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.

This index baseline was developed by Jobson Research from total sales from an average 7 days in the first quarter of 2019.

Click here to view the complete Jobson COVID-19 Performance Tracker