Feb. 24, 2021
Jobson Optical Research has released COVID’s Impact on Optical: The Year of 2020 Numbers in Review. Sponsored by ZEISS, the special report features exclusive Jobson research data and surveys showing the cumulative effect of the pandemic on the optical industry in 2020.
The report includes metrics tracked for ECPs in the U.S. such as average gross revenue per location, average gross optical revenue per location by region, U.S. unemployment rate versus U.S. optical sales, along with details like how many ECPs experienced having a staff member who tested positive for COVID, how ECPs are cleaning frames, and how patient behavior in screen time has changed.
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While optical sales plummeted quickly following onset of the crisis in March 2020, by July, optical sales had returned to 90 percent of where they had been at the start of 2019.
Optical sales steadied at this level since mid-July 2020 through the end of the year, dipping nationally only due to major holidays and regionally in response to natural disasters. By the end of August, the average number of patients seen per day was nearing pre-COVID levels, according to the 14th wave of Jobson Optical Research’s Coronavirus Survey, and by the end of September, a large majority (72 percent) of practices were returning to “normal” operating hours, according to the 15th wave of Jobson Optical Research’s Coronavirus Survey.
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The ups and downs in optical sales all followed similar trajectories for gross revenue, exams/refractions, frame units, and lens pairs, but contact lenses, which rose and fell in inverse proportion to the others, was likely due to more robust sales online.