Jobson COVID-19 Performance Tracker Week Ending Aug. 2

NEW YORK—In the week ending Aug. 2, the U.S. optical business showed positive signs of slight growth even while the pandemic’s “new phase” has become “extraordinarily widespread,” as announced by Deborah Birx, MD, White House physician overseeing the coronavirus response. Many states actually experienced a decrease in the number of coronavirus cases over the past week, according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker, although that appears in part due to the fact that so many had already reached a peak of the highest number of cases ever in those states. Small upticks in the U.S. optical business over the past week ranged from 2 index points for contact lenses to 4 index points for frame units and lens pairs, according to the Jobson COVID-19 Practice Performance Tracker.

Although the Midwestern region had the largest number of states with an increase in coronavirus cases last week (according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker), the Midwest also experienced some of the largest increases in optical product sales (up 12 index points for frame units and up 11 index points for lens pairs). Also with increasing COVID-19 cases, the West saw increases in service/product categories across the board (exams up 10 index points, frame units up 7, lens pairs up 6, contact lenses up 5, and gross revenue up 3). Contact lenses was the only category to experience any decline (-3 index points in both the South and Midwest).

In contrast to the prior two weeks of the Jobson Tracker, consumers' concerns about the virus dipped slightly but remain around the 60 percent level for the week ending Aug. 2. Just under 20 percent of consumers said they were postponing or cancelling eyewear purchases, according to The Vision Council's VisionWatch survey, which polls consumers regularly about their vision care and eyewear purchasing habits.

The Jobson COVID-19 Practice Performance Tracker 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.