June 2014 Optical Business Barometer Shows Rise in Overall Ratings


NEW YORK—According to Jobson Optical Research's latest Optical Business Barometer (OBB) report, the overall optical business rating rose in June 2014 to 3.76 from a May 2014 rating of 3.73. The June 2014 rating also shows increase from the June 2013 rating, which stood at 3.69. The ratings for June 2012, 2011 and 2010 stood at 3.70, 3.62 and 3.43, respectively.

The confidence rating, measuring independent eyecare professionals' outlook for overall optical retail business for the upcoming six months, lowered very slightly to 3.86 in June 2014 from a May rating of 3.87. However, the June 2014 rating compares to a June 2013 rating of 3.82, June 2012 rating of 3.78, June 2011 rating of 3.72 and June 2010 rating of 3.48, showing gradual increase in ECP confidence for the month of June over time.

According to the latest report, June monthly scores for eyeglasses, eye exams and contact lenses all increased for June 2014. The June 2014 rating for eyeglasses stood at 3.75, compared to 3.64 in 2013, 3.65 in 2012, 3.56 in 2011 and 3.31 in 2010. The June rating for exams stood at 3.81 for 2014, compared to 3.71 in 2013, 3.66 in 2012, 3.60 in 2011 and 3.39 in 2010. The June monthly score for contact lenses stood at 3.63 in 2014, compared to 3.53 in 2013, 3.59 in 2012, 3.48 in 2011 and 3.32 in 2010.

Year to date scores varied slightly in the latest report. For eyeglasses, average ratings for the period January through June 2014 stood at 3.68, a slightly lower score than average ratings for the same period in 2013 and 2012, which stood at 3.70 and 3.69, respectively. Year to date average ratings for exams stood at 3.76, compared to 3.72 and 3.73 in the same period for 2013 and 2012, respectively. For contact lenses, year to date average ratings stood at 3.59 for the period 2014, rising slightly from the year to date average rating for the same period in 2013, which stood at 3.57, and lowering slightly from the rating in 2012, which stood at 3.60.

The overall optical year to date average rating by region stood at 3.89 for the South, 3.60 in the Northeast, 3.66 in the West and 3.67 in the Midwest.

Jobson's OBB report is further compared to the Consumer Confidence Index from the Conference Board, which showed an increase in June to 85.2 from a revised 82.2 in May. The high point of the Consumer Confidence Index occurred in January 2000 at 144.7 and the low point in February 2009 at 25.3.

The Optical Business Barometer is a monthly study of a representative sample of independent optical retailers (single locations and groups of no more than three locations) designed to gauge the optical business trends of eyecare professionals at these locations and to provide them with a comparative "how's business" benchmark. It is conducted online by Jobson Optical Research based on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is very negative, 3 is neutral and 5 is very positive.

For more information, visit jobsonresearch.com/obb or contact Jennifer Zupnick at (212) 274-7164 or jzupnick@jobson.com.