NEW YORK—Ninety percent of eyecare professionals, primarily independent optometrists and opticians, are now reporting that their practices have reopened as of the June 5 to 9 period, according to the 11th Wave of Jobson Research's ECP Coronavirus Survey. Of those, 42 percent of those have been opened for a month, 34 percent for three to four weeks now, 18 percent for one to two weeks, and six percent for just a week or less. Among them, despite more limited hours and seeing fewer patients per day compared to the levels of the pre COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing recommendations of the CDC, their state associations and their counties and local governments, sales are slowly improving overall compared to prior Waves.
Some 60 percent have brought back furloughed staff, while another 11 percent say they intend to. The most encouraging news is that of those who are open, they are starting to see their revenues improve, generating, on average, an estimated 62 percent of the revenue they collected during an average week before the pandemic, respondents reported for the survey period of June 5 to 9. That was an increase from the estimated 51 percent of pre-coronavirus revenues that ECP respondents reported in the 10th wave of the study for the week of May 22-26.
Further, ECP respondents to the latest survey said that 58 percent of those patients they were seeing per day (19 patients per day, on average) were making a purchase. Fifty-two percent of those judged their profitability to be on a par with what they were pre-pandemic, but in fact another 15 percent noted they were realizing more profits than usual on those sales for the June 5 to 9 period.
In a new survey question in the 11th wave, ECPs were asked, "In this past week, in many cities and towns across the country there have been demonstrations, protests and, unfortunately, some rioting and vandalism. Has any of this activity affected your eyecare practice.?" Eighty-five percent of respondents said they were not directly impacted.
However, 15 percent of respondents said they were. Of that group, 65 percent said protests were peaceful, with no damage to their property. Of that same group of 15 percent, 39 percent said that some patients were less willing to come in, 28 percent boarded their store to prevent damage, while 7 percent said their office/store was damaged or vandalized and 4 percent said they were looted.
The full results of the 11th Wave of the Jobson ECP Coronavirus Survey, which spans a range of topics and questions, can be found, at no charge, here.