Optical Business Barometer for May 2014 Shows Increase from April and from Previous Years


NEW YORK—According to the Jobson Optical Research Optical Business Barometer (OBB) report, the overall optical business rating among independent ECPs has increased in May to a rating of 3.73, up from an April rating of 3.70. The May 2014 rating also shows increase from May ratings of previous years, comparing to 3.65 in 2013, 3.54 in 2012, 3.44 in 2011 and 3.41 in 2010.


The confidence rating, measuring independents' outlook for overall optical retail business for the upcoming six months, stood at 3.87 for May 2014, comparing to May ratings of 3.82 in 2013, 3.75 in 2012, 3.55 in 2011 and 3.69 in 2010. The May 2014 confidence rating of 3.87 compares to an April 2014 rating of 3.81 and March 2014 rating of 3.81, showing increase from that steady two-month period. 

May monthly scores for eyeglasses, exams and contact lenses showed increases for all three areas. The May 2014 rating for eyeglasses stood at 3.71, comparing to 3.64 in 2013, 3.50 in 2012, 3.36 in 2011 and 3.33 in 2010; the May 2014 rating for exams stood at 3.77, compared to 3.62 in 2013, 3.55 in 2012, 3.49 in 2011 and 3.35 in 2010; and the May 2014 rating for contact lenses stood at 3.64, compared to 3.52 in 2013, 3.51 in 2012, 3.36 in 2011 and 3.31 in 2010


Year-to-date average ratings for eyeglasses for the period January through May 2014 showed a slight decrease, standing at 3.66 in 2014 compared to 3.70 in both 2013 and 2012. For exams, the year-to-date average rating stood at 3.74, comparing to 3.73 in 2013 and 3.74 in 2012, showing no significant change in that time. Likewise, the year-to-date average rating for contact lenses stood at 3.59, increasing very slightly from 3.58 in 2013 and remaining steady with a 2012 rating of 3.59.


Year-to-date overall optical average ratings by census region stood at 3.88 for the South, 3.67 for the West, 3.67 for the Midwest and 3.58 for the Northeast.

Jobson's OBB report is further compared to the Consumer Confidence Index from the Conference Board, which showed an increase in May to 83.0 from a revised 81.7 in April. 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.