Q1 2017 Showed Decline From a Very Strong Q1 2016, OBB Report Says


NEW YORK—In the latest Optical Business Barometer (OBB) report from Jobson Optical Research, which gauges the attitudes about their business and their business outlook among independent eyecare professionals, reports showed that Q1 of 2017 experienced a decline when compared to Q1 of 2016. At 3.94 the Overall Optical Business rating for Q1 2017 fell 1.1 percent below the 3.98 rating for Q1 2016.

While Q1 of 2017 was ranked higher than Q2/Q3/Q4 of 2016 in both current Overall Optical as well as Eyeglass, Q1 of 2017 fell below the ranking of a very strong Q1 2016 in all top-line categories.

The Northeast and South census regions both showed positive ratings in Q1 of 2017 over Q1 2016, but the Midwest and West census regions’ negative ratings led to an overall decline between Q1 2017 and Q1 2016 in those two regions for most product/service categories.

When surveying independents, 31 percent said that it is with equal frequency that second pair sales are eyeglasses or sunglasses. 69 percent of those surveyed agree that plastic is the most popular frame material and 46 percent think that aesthetics is most important to the customer when selecting a frame.

Additionally, 51 percent are aware of the Think About Your Eyes campaign, but only 15 percent of those surveyed are TAYE members.

The Optical Business Barometer (OBB) is designed to gauge the optical business trends of eyecare professionals at independent optical locations and to provide independent optical retailers with a comparative "how's business" benchmark.

OBB is a study of a representative sample of independent optical retailers (single locations and groups of no more than 3 locations). It is conducted online by Jobson Optical Research and is designed to take the temperature of the independent optical business.

For more information or to purchase the complete Optical Business Barometer report with more data and trends on the independent ECP business, contact Jennifer Waller jwaller@jobson.com at Jobson Research.