Overall Optical Business Rating Rises Slightly for November 2013

NEW YORK—The Optical Business Barometer, a Jobson Optical Research report gauging attitudes about optical business trends among independent eyecare professionals, increased slightly overall for November. The overall optical business rating for November 2013 stood at 3.58, up slightly from the rating of 3.54 in October. The November 2013 overall rating is the same as that of November 2012 and higher than that of November 2011 and November 2010, which stood at 3.52 and 3.33, respectively.

The average of overall optical ratings for the period of January through November 2013 stood at 3.67, comparing to 3.68 for the same period in 2012. This average for this period further compares to 3.59 for the period in 2011 and 3.49 for the period in 2010.

ECPs' confidence rating, measuring their outlook of overall optical retail business for the upcoming six months, rose to 3.75 in November 2013 from an October 2013 rating of 3.65. The November 2013 rating compares to a 3.64 in 2012, a 3.69 in 2011 and a 3.44 in 2010, showing fluctuation for that month over time.

November 2013 ratings for eyeglasses, exams and contact lenses each increased since their ratings in October as well. For eyeglasses, the November 2013 rating increased to 3.57 from 3.45 in October; for exams, the rating increased to 3.69 in November from 3.56 in October; and for contact lenses, the rating increased to 3.53 from 3.43 in October.

The average ratings for the period of January through November 2013 were also positive overall. The average score for eyeglasses stood at 3.63, compared to 3.62 in the period in 2012, 3.53 in the period in 2011 and 3.42 in the period 2010; the average score for contact lenses stood at 3.55 for the period in 2013, even with the period in 2012 and comparing to 3.48 in 2011 and 3.39 in 2010; and the average rating for exams rose to 3.70 for 2013 compared to 3.69 in 2012, 3.61 in 2011 and 3.48 for 2010.

The overall optical rating by census region for the period of January through November 2013 stood at 3.69 for the Northeast, 3.81 for the South, 3.61 for the Midwest and 3.58 for the West, each decreasing very slightly from their ratings in October.

Jobson's OBB is further compared to the Consumer Confidence Index from the Conference Board, for which November 2013 rating declined to 70.4 from a revised 72.4 in October. The Consumer Confidence Index reached its highest point in January 2000 with a rating of 144.7 and its lowest point in February 2009 at 25.3.

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The OBB is a monthly survey designed to gauge attitudes about the optical business by studying a representative sample of independent optical retailers (single locations or groups of no more than three locations) and measuring the trends of eyecare professionals at these locations. It is conducted online by Jobson Optical Research and is 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.