Coronavirus BRIEFING
Supported by Essilor

Transitions Optical and OneSight Help Increase Accessibility to Vision Care Services and Education to Students

By Staff
Friday, January 21, 2022 12:15 AM PINELLAS PARK, Fla.—In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and committing to the importance of EssilorLuxottica’s foundational values under diversity, Transitions Optical’s Diversity Advisory Board partnered with OneSight to host a one-day vision clinic. OneSight is an independent non-profit committed to eliminating the global vision care crisis. The organization’s primary sponsor, EssilorLuxottica, is equally dedicated to this commitment. The clinic provided free eye exams and dispensing services for students on Friday, January 14, 2022, at Deerwood Elementary in Kissimmee, Fla.

More than 240 Exhibitors Commit to Vision Expo East 2022, Taking Place In-Person from March 31-April 3 at NYC's Javits Center

By Staff
Thursday, January 20, 2022 12:27 AM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The organizers of Vision Expo, The Vision Council and RX, announced that more than 240 exhibitors have committed to Vision Expo East. Vision Expo East 2022 will take place from March 31-April 3 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. “We are looking forward to hosting a dynamic Show. With more than 240 exhibitors already committed and more than 75 additional exhibitors expected to join, representing a diverse range of companies across the vision care landscape, the momentum is strong and reflects industry-wide excitement to be back in-person in New York City for the first time since 2019,” said Mitch Barkley, vice president of Trade Shows and Events at The Vision Council.

Lonely? Get in Line. A COVID Test Line.

By Staff
Thursday, January 20, 2022 12:04 AM There is this great spirit that says we are going to get through this together. It made me happy to see people being kind to each other. That’s all we can do right now.

The Omicron Surge Compounds Retail Sector’s Worker Shortage

By Staff
Wednesday, January 19, 2022 4:02 PM Retailers across the U.S. are being forced to adjust their brick-and-mortar strategies as the spread of the omicron variant exacerbates the pressure on already stretched staff, according to a recent feature from eMarketer. Walmart, Starbucks, Macy’s, and Apple are just a few of the retailers that have either reduced store hours or temporarily closed locations in response to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases. 

Pandemic-induced burnout has hit many industries hard, as the number of people quitting reaches record highs. This, coupled with omicron’s highly contagious nature, has wreaked havoc on retailers’ ability to maintain business as usual. A record 4.5 million people quit their jobs in November 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of that number, 686,000 left retail jobs, leaving the industry with a 4.4 percent quit rate (the number of people quitting as a proportion of total employment). Meanwhile, the overall quit rate hit 3 percent matching the high previously seen in September 2021.

In addition to facing increased risk of COVID-19 exposure, retail workers are also reporting low morale due to severe staffing crunches, lack of hazard pay, and rising numbers of in-store shoppers. 

As a result, retailers are overhauling their in-store experience on the fly by adjusting hours and adding more self-service options. For example, ShopRite recently rolled out an automated pickup pod that provides consumers in New Rochelle, N.Y., with a contactless way to retrieve their online grocery orders. That type of technology can reduce the retailer’s reliance on store employees and may drive an increase in online shopping.

The National Average for Gross Revenue at ECP Locations Increased for the Week of Jan. 10-16, Jobson’s Latest Practice Performance Tracker Shows

By Staff
Wednesday, January 19, 2022 12:24 AM NEW YORK—The national average for gross revenue at ECP locations increased last week, Jan. 10-16, at a rate of 5 index points. That places gross revenue at a level well below (-13 index points) where it was at this point in time (Week 3) last year, slightly below (-4 index points) where it was in 2020, and slightly above (2 index points) where it was in 2019, according to Jobson’s most recent Practice Performance Tracker.

Your Boss Wants You Back in the Office Despite COVID. Here’s Why.

By Staff
Wednesday, January 19, 2022 12:04 AM People like the hybrid model [of office work], but the thought that offices are dead is far from reality. Offices will be an important component for companies going forward.

Chips Will Remain in Short Supply This Year, According to New Deloitte Report

By Staff
Tuesday, January 18, 2022 3:16 PM Deloitte recently released its Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) 2022 Predictions report, which highlights how worldwide trends in TMT may affect businesses and consumers worldwide. The report underscores how many of these trends are being driven by the global pandemic’s economic and societal shifts, resulting in an increasingly connected and multi-device world, fueling the world’s need for more chips, growth in connectivity, and entertainment options.

The Journey of a COVID Test

By Staff
Tuesday, January 18, 2022 11:13 AM For a myriad of reasons, Americans across the country are experiencing significant delays in COVID test results. From shipping delays to employees having to call out sick with COVID themselves, things are disrupted at every level. Head over to WebMD to learn about the journey of a COVID test: how it gets from your nose to the lab and back, and some of the other reasons why results are taking so long right now. 

UnitedHealthcare Enhances Eyecare Program by Helping Reduce People’s Exposure to Blue Light

By Staff
Tuesday, January 18, 2022 12:21 AM MINNETONKA, Minn.—UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, said it will invest in new ways to help children and adults across the country reduce their exposure to blue light and support their overall eye health, amid ongoing use of screens during COVID-19 and the greater reliance on remote school and work.

Warning Sign for the Economy: Consumers Are Getting Grumpy

By Staff
Tuesday, January 18, 2022 12:04 AM Consumer spending will remain the cornerstone of economic growth this year, but the near-term path will be choppy amid surging Omicron cases.

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Optical Industry: Transitions Optical’s Diversity Advisory Board Creates Inspirational New Video

By Staff
Monday, January 17, 2022 9:30 AM NEW YORK—In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, four members of Transitions Optical’s Diversity Advisory Board  are sharing actionable ways eyecare professionals can foster diversity, equity and inclusion in their lives and careers in a new video, being shared for the first time today, on the national holiday honoring the leader. Viewers can understand the impact of the most visible spokesman and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement from conversations with Dr. Darryl Glover, Defocus Media and MyEyeDr., Dr. Essence Johnson, Black Eyecare Perspective, Dr. Janette Dumas Pepper, Southern College of Optometry and Dr. Devin Sasser, Eye Clarity. The Transitions Diversity Advisory Board members also share their dreams for the optical industry and world and how eyecare professionals can honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s principle of equality.

Subscription Economy Market Value to Reach $275 Billion Globally in 2022

By Staff
Friday, January 14, 2022 6:45 PM A new study from Juniper Research found that the global market value of the subscription economy will grow to $275 billion in 2022; rising from $224 billion in 2021. Increased user demand for reliable, recurring deliveries of key items, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the support of automation in subscription services, are key reasons for the uptake of subscription services across these three verticals, according to Juniper Research.

Staar Surgical Posts Preliminary Fourth Quarter Net Sales of Approximately $59 Million

By Staff
Friday, January 14, 2022 12:21 AM LAKE FOREST, Calif.—Staar Surgical Company (NASDAQ: STAA) posted preliminary results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2021.

Despite Difficult Supply Chain, Kits Says it Delivered a Record Number of Eyeglass Orders in 2021

By Staff
Friday, January 14, 2022 12:18 AM VANCOUVER—Kits Eyecare Ltd. (TSX: KITS), a vertically integrated, digital eyecare platform based here, said this week that in last year’s fourth quarter it delivered 50,000 eyeglasses to patients, and 156,000 total eyecare orders to patients.

Retail Import Growth Levels Out But Volume Remains High, NRF Says

By Staff
Thursday, January 13, 2022 11:03 AM WASHINGTON—After a year of unprecedented increases, imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to return to normal growth rates in 2022 but volumes will remain high, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released last week by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “Even with the holiday season behind us, supply chain challenges continue,” NRF vice president for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. 

“The huge increases in imports we’ve seen have leveled out, but volume is still at high levels. We hope the system will find a way to catch up, but there is much that remains to be done to clear out port backlogs and increase capacity throughout the supply chain. Amid all of this, the omicron variant is a wild card that could not only impact the supply chain workforce but once again drive more imports if consumers stay home and spend their money on retail goods rather than going out,” Gold said.

Imports saw year-over-year growth as high as 65 percent in some months during 2021. That was the result of increased consumer demand, retailers’ efforts to stock up to mitigate supply chain challenges, and comparisons against periods early in 2020 when many stores were closed because of the pandemic. 

But increases returned to single digits by last fall and should remain there this year. Nonetheless, volumes of about 2.2 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units or more expected during most months in the first half of 2022 will be near-records. A TEU is one 20-foot container or its equivalent. Those numbers would bring 2021 to a total of 25.9 million TEU, a 17.9 percent increase over 2020’s record high of 22 million TEU that was set despite the pandemic. Click here to read the full story from the National Retail Federation.