Coronavirus BRIEFING
Supported by Essilor

Business Updates

Examining the Roots of the Global Paper Shortage

By Staff
Monday, September 20, 2021 3:50 PM Wood pulp is in short supply lately, and shortages and soaring demand has caused prices for everything from toilet paper to lumber to jump in the past year. The price of wood pulp has risen 50.2 percent over the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The price of paper rose 14.2 percent in the same time period. “Across the nation, printers and direct mail houses are experiencing a massive paper shortage,” the Dot Corp. noted in a recent blog post.

Experts to Explore the Metaverse and New Retail Concepts at Oct. 27 Virtual VM Summit

By Staff
Monday, September 20, 2021 12:24 AM NEW YORK—Three leading technology experts will share their insights about the metaverse and the opportunities it offers brands at the virtual Vision Monday Leadership Summit on October 27. Robin Raskin, founder of the Virtual Events Group and a leading observer of consumer technology trends, will kick off the session by giving Summit attendees a peek inside the metaverse, including a brand experience, an event experience, a game experience for advertising and a fully immersive open-ended experience.

AOA Notes New Pandemic-Relief Funding Opportunities for Providers and a New ‘Grace Period’ for Reporting Use of Relief Funds to HHS

By Staff
Monday, September 20, 2021 12:15 AM ST. LOUIS—The American Optometric Association (AOA) has informed its members that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has established a “grace period” related to reporting use of HHS provider relief funds.

What's Going on With the Supply Chain

By Staff
Friday, September 17, 2021 1:22 PM You might've heard that the supply chain is in a bit of a crunch right now. A myriad of factors, including the pandemic, rising demand and a labor shortage, have come together to create a perfect, brutal storm. Head over to Businessweek for an inside look at what's going on.

Taking a Closer Look at Amazon and How Fast its Business Units May Grow

By Staff
Friday, September 17, 2021 11:11 AM NEW YORK—When Amazon starts a new business, it usually causes a wave of concern among competitors, who have been known to scrap business plans and revise their strategies. To get a closer look at where Amazon is heading, eMarketer recently examined 19 of Amazon’s divisions to “help parse how the company fuels its flywheel to keep driving the virtuous cycle.”

Among the findings: Amazon joined the $1 trillion market cap club in early 2020 and has the first-mover advantage for several businesses, most notably as a commerce platform and a marketing powerhouse.

The research firm now forecasts that Amazon’s share of U.S. e-commerce sales in 2021 will be 41.4 percent, which leads the No. 2 player Walmart with its 7.2 percent market share.

According to CNBC, Amazon’s revenues per minute were about $837,000  in the first quarter of 2021, while Apple was second  with $691,000 per minute.

Noting the growth of Amazon Prime, eMarketer said it now forecasts that well over half (63.4 percent) of all U.S. households will use Amazon Prime this year. For perspective, eMarketer noted that in 2016, just 35.6 percent of U.S. households subscribed to the Prime service.

Join Us and Register Now for "Creative Disruption: Retail & Healthcare: Upended!," VM's Virtual Leadership Summit Sessions, Oct. 20 and Oct. 27

By Staff
Thursday, September 16, 2021 12:33 AM NEW YORK—The 2021 Vision Monday Leadership Summit will culminate next month in two new dynamic virtual sessions in October, "Retail and Healthcare: Upended! Ripping Up the Rulebook." To be broadcast Oct. 20 and Oct. 27, the virtual sessions extend the 2021 VM Summit series of conversations and presentations under the theme "Creative Disruption," in exclusive two-hour programs designed to help business and professional leaders as they continue to manage through with the impact of the pandemic and the changes it has escalated in both retail and health care.

Direct-To-Consumer Brands Drive Shopping Center Boom

By Staff
Thursday, September 16, 2021 12:04 AM The mall may be dead (or being repurposed into an Amazon distribution center), but the strip center is alive and well. The reasons are many. Among them: open-air center rents have come down; customer acquisition costs online have gotten so expensive that physical stores are a better use of capital and … the lingering pandemic has made shoppers wary of large indoor venues.

Ocuco Named One of Ireland’s Best Managed Companies for 2021

By Staff
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 12:15 AM DUBLIN, Ireland—Ocuco has been named as one of Ireland’s Best Managed Companies for 2021. The company, which demonstrated superior business performance for the fourth year, was recognized at a virtual awards ceremony on September 8. The awards program is led by Deloitte Ireland, in association with Bank of Ireland. “To be included as one of Ireland’s Best Managed Companies for a fourth year running is a testament to the outstanding performance of our management team,” said Leo Mac Canna, Ocuco CEO.

44% of U.S. Small Businesses Have Less Than 3 Months' Worth of Cash, Report Finds

By Staff
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 12:04 AM I would rather pay my staff than buy a new van and I think everyone is thinking that way right now. It's rough out there for small businesses.

Biden’s Vaccine Push: What You Need to Know

By Staff
Monday, September 13, 2021 12:04 AM [President Biden] said he would expand the loan programs run by the Small Business Administration that allow small-business owners to borrow money at low interest rates in order to hire and retain workers, buy inventory or even pay down debt as the coronavirus continues to cripple business. Even as Mr. Biden heralded that the economy was now averaging 700,000 new jobs a month, he noted the recovery continues. “While America is in much better shape than it was seven months ago when I took office, we’re in the tough stretch, and it could last for a while.”

If You Never Met Your Co-Workers in Person, Did You Even Work There?

By Staff
Friday, September 10, 2021 12:04 AM Never having to be in the same conference room or cubicle as a co-worker may sound like a dream to some people. But the phenomenon of job hoppers who have not physically met their colleagues illustrates how emotional and personal attachments to jobs may be fraying. That has contributed to an easy-come, easy-go attitude toward workplaces and created uncertainty among employers over how to retain people they barely know.

Inspecs Group Reports Increased Sales in First Half 2021 Results

By Staff
Thursday, September 9, 2021 12:24 AM BATH, England—Inspecs Group, plc, (LSE: SPEC) the global eyewear and lens group based here, reported its interim financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2021.

DaTE Organizers Begin Countdown to the Sept. 11-13 Show in Florence, Italy

By Staff
Thursday, September 9, 2021 12:15 AM MILAN—Organizers for DaTE Eyewear have started their countdown for the 9th edition of the show, the international exhibition dedicated to avant-garde eyewear, which will open at the Leopolda in Florence, Italy on Saturday Sept. 11 and will continue until Monday Sept. 13, "DaTE represents an important moment for the eyewear sector: 2021 was not the year that everyone was hoping for, but we have never lost sight of the goal of our mission, to build an unmissable and original event, true fulcrum of the ferment and vivacity of avant-garde eyewear, an appointment that has grown year after year," commented Giovanni Vitaloni, president of DaTE. 

Blue Light Summit Organizers Announce September Dates for 2021 Event

By Staff
Wednesday, September 8, 2021 12:33 AM SHANGHAI, BERLIN and MINNEAPOLIS—Eyesafe, TÜV Rheinland Group (TÜV Rheinland), UnitedHealthcare and ZAGG have announced the dates for Blue Light Summit 2021, which will be held Sept. 28 in Europe and the Americas and Sept. 29 in Asia-Pacific. Due to ongoing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's summit will be entirely virtual. People interested in attending can register here. Blue Light Summit 2021 will bring together leaders across multiple industries, including consumer electronics, health care, and government to discuss the dramatic impact COVID-19 had on device usage, screen time and blue light exposure, sharing what each of their respective fields is doing to address this global health challenge.

Alcon Reports Second Quarter 2021 Results

By Staff
Wednesday, September 8, 2021 12:02 AM Alcon reported its financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2021. For the second quarter of 2021, worldwide sales were $2.1 billion, an increase of 75 percent on a reported basis and 69 percent on a constant currency basis, as compared to the same quarter of the previous year.