NEW YORK—Even though national optical sales declined last week (May 24-30), overall gross revenue generated during Week 22 of this year still remained substantially higher than during the comparable weeks of both 2019 and 2020, according to data from Jobson’s latest Practice Performance Tracker. This is primarily due to Week 22 of 2020 being in the midst of the pandemic and because Memorial Day fell within Week 22 of 2019. All categories of optical sales declined last week (May 24-30) at nearly comparable levels. Three categories, gross revenue, frame units, and lens pairs, fell a substantial 4 index points, and exams/refractions declined by 3 index points over the course of last week. Contact lenses lost only 1 index point in sales. These decreases in optical sales occurred even while 98 percent of practices are open and 76 percent observe a decrease in the amount of COVID-19 cases in their area, according to the latest Jobson Optical Research Coronavirus ECP Study.

Following a brief uptick in some optical sales categories, all were down by varying degrees this past week, with most decreasing substantially by either -4 or -3 index points. These declines in optical sales occurred even while three-quarters of survey respondents indicated that more than half of their staff have been vaccinated and practices continue increasing their allowable walk-ins (vs. appointments only), to 37 percent for eye exams and to 69 percent for dispensing/eyewear purchases, according to the latest Jobson Optical Research Coronavirus ECP Study.

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