NEW YORK—With an increase of 14 index points last week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2, the national average for gross revenue regained about half the decline of -27 index points it experienced during the Christmas holiday, likely due to the holiday week continuing through New Year’s Day. That places gross revenue at 104 index points for the first week of 2022, 2 index points below where it was during the first week of 2021 and 4 index points below the level it reached during the first week of 2020, according to Jobson’s most recent Practice Performance Tracker.
All optical categories increased in sales last week, regaining some but not all of the declines experienced during the week of Christmas, except for the contact lens category, which increased by 18 index points last week, surpassing the -16 index points lost the previous week. After the contact lens category, frame units fared the best, regaining 21 of the -23 index points lost the previous week, followed by lens pairs, which regained 20 of the -24 index points lost. Exams/refractions performed the worst, regaining only 5 of the -24 index points lost the previous week.
With all optical sales increasing last week, all improved in relation to the benchmark 100 index points representing an average week in 2019. Three categories reached levels above that benchmark—gross revenue, frame units and lens pairs—while the two categories of contact lenses and exams/refractions remained below benchmark levels.
Weekly averages for each category for the full year indicate that sales performance in 2021 was an improvement over 2020 in relation to an average week in 2019—the index baseline assigned a value of 100 for this Optical Business Tracker. In 2021, gross revenue achieved a weekly average of 106 index points, while gross revenue averaged only 93 index points weekly in 2020.
In 2021, both frame units and lens pairs were close to an average week in 2019 at 99 index points. That compares with 91 index points for frame units and 92 for lens pairs in 2020. While exams/refractions averaged 95 index points weekly in 2021 and did not reach the 2019 benchmark average of 100, this was still an improvement over the weekly average of 87 index points for exams/refractions in 2020.
The contact lenses category was the only one that reached a lower weekly sales level in 2021 (91 index points) than in 2020 (93 index points).
Jobson Optical Research selected 1,500 optical locations that have been operating and reporting their sales to its partners, GPN and ABB Analytics, since 2019. The index has been rebased to an average week in 2019. Going forward, this new index base will be used as an arbitrary benchmark and assigned a value of 100.
Click here to view the complete Jobson COVID-19 Performance Tracker