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Community Voices

The Optical Industry Honors Juneteenth, Now a Federal Holiday

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, June 18, 2021 8:05 AM NEW YORK—This week, President Biden officially declared Juneteenth—today, June 19—a federal holiday. Juneteenth marks the day that Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in the summer of 1865 and freed more than 150,000 Black Americans, who had remained enslaved despite President Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation nearly two years earlier. The anniversary has long been important to the Black community in the United States, and after nationwide Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, more and more U.S.-based organizations began to acknowledge this important day, too.

The New Digital Divide: The Gap Between Telehealth Haves and Have-Nots Threatens to Undermine the Momentum Toward Virtual Care

By Staff
Wednesday, June 16, 2021 12:04 AM In the beginning of the pandemic, we thought it was going to be either you see your doctor with telehealth or you get comfortable with the risk of in-person. What we’re seeing now is a shift to, ‘How do you use telehealth as a triage, to determine when you need to see patients, especially those at higher risk? Can you get your lab work done ahead of when you need to see a physician?’ Building telehealth into your overall workflow is where the future is going.

NFIB Report Finds Failure to Fill Jobs Continues at Record Pace

By Staff
Friday, June 11, 2021 12:04 AM Small business owners are struggling at record levels trying to get workers back in open positions. Owners are offering higher wages to try to remedy the labor shortage problem. Ultimately, higher labor costs are being passed on to consumers in higher selling prices.

The Digital Retail Trends Transforming the Customer Experience

By Staff
Thursday, June 10, 2021 12:04 AM For all the disruption 2020 brought us, there is a silver lining. Customers are continuing to become even more digitally literate, so there are even more customers online for retailers to attract and retain. Although this forced retailers to accelerate their plans for innovation almost overnight, they’re getting more creative to reach their customers in new ways.

Review of Optometry: The Force Awakens

By Staff
Friday, June 4, 2021 1:00 PM Those of us who are regular travelers on the educational conference circuit will probably always think of SECO 2020 when we reflect on the COVID pandemic lockdown. That was the last big meeting to happen before the profession, and pretty much the entire world, retreated from society for a year or so. Review of Optometry hosts a big reception at SECO each year, where over 100 people gather to talk and eat and laugh together, elbow-to-elbow, for three hours. You couldn’t ask for a more convivial atmosphere. Less than two weeks after last year’s event, I was literally wearing surgical gloves and a mask in the grocery store. Quite a 180 from SECO! Read More

A Strong But Changed Retail Industry Looks to the Future, the NPD Group Says

By Staff
Friday, May 28, 2021 12:04 AM When it comes to shopping, it's apparent now that the consumer does not recognize any lines of demarcation at all. Shopping is all one thing to them now, no matter where it happens. The faster retailers can recognize and accept that premise, the better—and more profitable—they will become.

Is America Ready for Normal?

By Staff
Friday, May 21, 2021 12:04 AM Anxiety about returning to normal is setting in. Today, 61 percent of Americans say they’re anxious about returning to normal public activities and socialization, which is highest for Millennials (69 percent) vs. Boomers (59 percent). And while bars and restaurants are opening up, less than a quarter (22 percent) of Americans tell us they would feel comfortable socializing with a stranger at a bar.

Walmart Raises Outlook for Q2 and Full Year 2021

By Staff
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 12:04 AM This was a strong quarter. Every segment performed well, and we’re encouraged by traffic and grocery market share trends. Our optimism is higher than it was at the beginning of the year. In the U.S., customers clearly want to get out and shop. …. We anticipate continued pent-up demand throughout 2021.

Independent Retailers Must Keep Up ‘Shop Small’ Message as Their Best Hope for Post-Covid Recovery

By Staff
Thursday, May 6, 2021 12:01 AM Because the crisis was so long, consumer behavior shifted. [Consumers] turned to Amazon to deliver everything to their front door. As a result, we drained an enormous amount of capital out of our local economies and shifted it to Jeff Bezos and Seattle. For small businesses to recover, that shift has to come back in some part to small local businesses.

These Stores That Opened Amid the Pandemic Can Hint at Where Retail Is Going

By Staff
Monday, May 3, 2021 12:01 AM The landlords and tenants are on a more even playing field now. You're working with them as opposed to working against each other, which, in the past, sometimes those relationships [were] a little challenging.

Moody's—U.S. Retail and Apparel Sector Changed to Positive as Uncertainty Abates and Business Conditions Improve

By Staff
Friday, April 30, 2021 12:01 AM As pandemic pressures ease and the cadence of vaccinations accelerates, we expect the retail sector to experience broad-based improvement. Operating profit will grow a robust 10 percent to 12 percent in 2021, and hard-hit sectors such as apparel, department stores, and off-price will see the most pronounced operating profit growth over the next 12 to 18 months. That said, our positive outlook could be short-lived given the lapping of weak performance in the first half of last year.

Michigan Became National Hotspot for COVID-19 Due to Variants and Lack of Vigilance

By Staff
Tuesday, April 27, 2021 12:01 AM I think the people on the outside of our situation don’t understand the depths of what we’re going through, how long we’ve been going through it here in the hospital and that COVID’s not really ever left.

Stepping Up for Planet Earth

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, April 23, 2021 8:05 AM NEW YORK—Every year for the past 51 years, April 22 has been a day to honor, celebrate and protect our planet Earth. First founded in 1970, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the founding of the modern environmental movement, and offers us a day to think about how we treat the planet we call home. It is a day for action, legislation and reflection for everyone—including the optical community.

20/20 Magazine and Vision Monday Extend Deadline for Ultimate Partners Program to April 25—Nominate a Supportive Business Partner Now

By Staff
Thursday, April 22, 2021 12:15 AM NEW YORK—Vision Monday and 20/20 Magazine have extended the nomination deadline for their Ultimate Partners Program to April 25 at 11:59 p.m. The readers of the two publications are being asked to share their choices for great business support partners in a challenging business year, via the new Ultimate Partners program. Readers are being asked to recall the time when they were facing a critical challenge, in 2020 and into this year, and to salute the business partner who showed up at the right moment to reshape that problem into an opportunity or name which supplier (or representative) came to the rescue with valuable new solutions.