Optical Business Barometer for October 2013 Reflects Very Slight Decreases in ECP Ratings

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NEW YORK—The Optical Business Barometer, a Jobson Optical Research report gauging attitudes about optical business trends among independent eyecare professionals, showed very slight decreases this month in ECPs’ overall ratings. The overall optical business rating for October 2013 stood at 3.54, comparing to an overall rating of 3.56 in September. The recent rating, however, compares to a 3.44 rating in October 2012, a 3.38 rating in October 2011 and a 3.22 rating in October 2010, showing gradual increase in the overall rating for the month over time.
 
The average of overall optical ratings for the period of January through October 2013 stood at 3.68, comparing to an average of 3.69 for the same period in 2012. This average stood at 3.59 for the period in 2011 and 3.50 in 2010.



ECPs’ confidence rating, measuring their outlook of overall optical retail business for the upcoming six months, also decreased slightly in the latest report. The index showed a 3.65 rating for October 2013, as compared to a 3.67 rating in September. The October 2013 rating further compares to a 3.69 rating in October 2012, a 3.54 rating in October 2011 and a 3.49 rating in October 2010, showing a gradual increase, then decrease for the month over time.

October 2013 ratings of independents’ perceptions toward eyeglasses, eye exams and contact lenses all decreased slightly as well, with the rating for eyeglasses decreasing to a 3.45 from a 3.49 in September, the rating for exams decreasing very slightly to 3.56 from 3.57 in September, and the rating for contact lenses decreasing to 3.43 from 3.47 in September.



Changes in average ratings for eyeglasses, eye exams and contact lenses varied for the period of January through October 2013. For eyeglasses, the rating stood at 3.64 compared to 3.63 in the same period in 2012, 3.53 for the same period in 2011 and 3.43 for the same period in 2010, showing an increase in average ratings for the period over time. For contact lenses, the average rating stood at 3.55, compared to 3.56 for the period in 2012, 3.48 for the period in 2011 and 3.41 for the period in 2010. For exams, the average rating for the period stood even in 2013 with the period in 2012 at 3.70, increasing from 3.62 in 2011 and 3.50 in 2010.
 
The overall optical rating by census region for the period of January through October 2013 stood at 3.70 for the Northeast, 3.83 for the South, 3.62 for the Midwest and 3.59 for the West.
 
Jobson’s OBB is further compared to the Consumer Confidence Index from the Conference Board, for which October 2013 rating declined sharply, showing a 71.2 compared to a revised 80.2 for September. The Consumer Confidence Index reached its highest point in January 2000 with a rating of 144.7 and its lowest point in February 2009 at 25.3.

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The OBB is a monthly survey designed to gauge attitudes about the optical business by studying a representative sample of independent optical retailers (single locations or groups of no more than three locations) and measuring the trends of eyecare professionals at these locations. It is conducted online by Jobson Optical Research and is based on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is "very negative," 3 is "neutral" and 5 is "very positive."

For more information, visit jobsonresearch.com/obb or contact Jennifer Zupnick at 212-274-7164 or jzupnick@jobson.com.