September Confidence Drops for Independent ECPs, Says Jobson Research’s OBB


By Delia Paunescu
Assistant Editor

NEW YORK—After holding steady for two months, the outlook of independent ECPs towards their overall business decreased in Sept. to an index of 3.5, according to the latest edition of Jobson Optical Research’s Optical Business Barometer (OBB). Previously this year, July and August showed a more positive general business outlook among independents, with an index of 3.7, a rise from June 2011’s reading of 3.6.


“However, the Sept. 2011 rating of 3.5 compares favorably to the Sept. 2010 rating of 3.3,” the report said.

A monthly survey of a representative sample of independent optical retailers (single locations and groups of no more than three locations), the OBB is designed to gauge the optical business trends of eyecare professionals at independent optical locations. Conducted online by Jobson Optical Research, the OBB is designed to measure attitudes of independent eyecare professionals about the current business climate and outlook. The OBB is based on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is “very negative”, 3 is “neutral” and 5 is “very positive.”

The OBB reported that the current month’s rating for both eyeglasses and contact lenses specifically decreased from 3.6 in August to 3.4 in Sept. Both these categories had an index of 3.3 in Sept. 2010. Similarly, eye exams decreased to 3.5 this month from 3.8 in August. In Sept. 2010, exams had a rating of 3.4.


“The future business ratings (anticipated results for upcoming 6 months) for eyeglasses and contact lenses decreased to 3.5 in Sept. 2011 from 3.6 in August 2011. Eye exams remained steady at 3.7 for the same periods,” the report added.

Overall optical ratings in the Northeast, South and Midwest U.S. Census regions decreased in Sept. from the previous month, though according to the OBB, the West was up “marginally.”

The National Federation of Independent Business’ (NFIB), Index of Small Business Optimism for Sept. 2011 increase, for the first time in sixth months, to 88.9, up 0.8 points from August’s score of 88.1.

The findings of the OBB are also compared to those in the Consumer Confidence Index from the Conference Board. For Sept., the index rose to 45.4, up 0.2 from a revised score of 45.2 in July.


To learn more about detailed information featured in the complete report, contact Jennifer Zupnick at (212) 274-7164.