NEW YORK—Increased uncertainty, fueled by a surge of COVID cases across the country due to the Delta variant as well as patient traffic and growing professional staffing concerns, are impacting the current near-term business outlook among those eyecare professionals and optical retailers responding to Wave 26 of the Jobson ECP Coronavirus Survey, conducted from August 13-16, 2021 by Jobson Research. That being said, survey respondents indicated that overall revenue, optical sales, the number of patients they are seeing per day and the profitability per patient were up about 10 percent to 12 percent comparing August 2021 to August 2020, although those counts were 1 percent to 2 percent down from levels experienced in August 2019.

ECP respondents' outlook for seeing more or fewer patients per day for the next 30 days reflected less of an anticipated increase than in prior months' reports Fifty-seven percent of respondents in Wave 26 thought that traffic would remain the same, while 11 percent anticipated a decrease of 1 percent to 10 percent of patients compared to 4 percent who felt that way in July. Another 6 percent of Wave 26 respondents felt they might experience a larger than 10 percent decrease in patients per day.

Further, the Jobson Wave 26 survey queried ECPs about their views towards attending in person trade shows in the coming months, including their intentions to attend Vision Expo West (Sept 22-25, Las Vegas) and/or the Academy of Optometry (Nov. 3-6, Boston). The Wave 26 August survey reflected increased concerns compared to July's Wave 25 report.


Respondents also shared their experiences with vaccinations among their staff and among patients, and about their challenges in requesting that patients wear masks during visits.
Go to VM's Coronavirus Briefing section section to catch up on all of the 2020 and 2021 Jobson surveys.
Click here to view a PDF of the full Wave 26 survey results.