NEW YORK—For the second week in a row, national optical sales declined slightly in all categories last week (Feb. 1-7), but the big snowstorm that moved across the Northeast early in the week seemed to take a heavy toll on the optical sector in this region of the country. Across the nation, though, the decreases in optical sales were small, either -1 index point for gross revenue, frame units, and contact lenses, or -2 index points for exams/refractions and lens pairs, according to the Jobson Practice Performance Tracker.

Overall, optical sales in all service/product categories have leveled off to within 15 index points of mid-March 2020 levels when COVID-influenced declines began.

Optical sales settling in lower than last year relates to findings in the latest Jobson Optical Research COVID-19 ECP impact survey, which found that respondents have observed that practice revenues, on average, are running at about 73 percent of what they had been the previous year.

On a regional basis, the Performance Tracker showed that sales in the Northeast declined substantially last week (Feb. 1-7), while there were only slight decreases in optical sales in the South, Midwest, and West that mirrored the overall trends across the country. The major snowstorm that stopped travel for a couple of days was most likely the cause of decreases in optical sales in the Northeast of -12 index points (for exams/refractions and contact lenses) and -14 index points (for gross revenue, frame units, and lens pairs).

All other service/product categories in all other regions were either flat or declined negligibly by -1 or -2 index points. This all occurred as new coronavirus cases are trending downward in all regions, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center

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