Coronavirus BRIEFING
Supported by Essilor

Hilco Vision’s SeeGreen Microfiber Terry Towels

By Staff
Friday, February 26, 2021 12:11 AM

‘Value and Values’: Unilever’s Top Marketer on the Key to Marketing Through a Recession

By Staff
Friday, February 26, 2021 12:01 AM [What a brand stands for] is about value, but it is also about ‘values.’ Because what we have also seen during Covid is people are becoming more conscious in their consumption. Conscious in knowing that we live on one planet and that everything interacts, and that they themselves can play a role in making this a more sustainable place to live.

January Retail Sales Show Strong Increase Boosted By Stimulus Funds and Momentum From Record Holidays

By Staff
Thursday, February 25, 2021 4:14 PM WASHINGTON—Retail sales grew sharply in January as government stimulus checks provided a boost and momentum from 2020’s record holiday season carried over into the new year, according to a recent feature from the the National Retail Federation.

The U.S. Census Bureau said overall retail sales in January were up 5.3 percent seasonally adjusted from December and up 7.4 percent year-over-year. That compares with a monthly drop of 1 percent but a yearly gain of 2.5 percent in December. Despite month-over-month declines in the last quarter of 2020, sales have grown year-over-year every month since June, according to Census data.

“January’s retail sales numbers reflect a very strong start for consumers and retailers as we look ahead to a critical year curbing the global pandemic and strengthening our economic recovery,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers and the economy as a whole remain in good shape despite unprecedented adversity over the past year, and congressional action has been a lifeline for households and businesses disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

Empty Tourist Destinations Around the World

By Staff
Thursday, February 25, 2021 12:29 PM With travel mostly at a standstill, many of the world's most famous sights and tourist destinations have been deserted for the first time ever. Head over to the Telegraph's Twitter account to take a look at the world's most famous destinations in a way you've never seen them before, or to the Telegraph's website for more. 

COVID-19: Is It Time for Optimism?

By Staff
Thursday, February 25, 2021 10:32 AM When the first COVID vaccines arrived, people started talking about the “light at the end of the tunnel.” Then the post-holidays surge hit with record numbers of cases and deaths, virus variants emerged, and that light was feeling pretty dim. But now as cases and hospitalizations have dramatically dropped, are we finally getting close to the end of the tunnel?

COVID-19: Is It Time for Optimism?

By Staff
Thursday, February 25, 2021 10:29 AM When the first COVID vaccines arrived, people started talking about the “light at the end of the tunnel.” Then the post-holidays surge hit with record numbers of cases and deaths, virus variants emerged, and that light was feeling pretty dim. But now as cases and hospitalizations have dramatically dropped, are we finally getting close to the end of the tunnel?

Frame Sterilization Technology Tops List of Office Enhancements as a Result of COVID-19

By Staff
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 4:56 PM The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked the need for many changes in the office, and ODs have had to make adjustments to keep the office and exam experience safe and comfortable for patients. Respondents shared that they made new technology purchases for the optical (52 percent), the exam room and pretesting area (52 percent) and for billing or the front office area (32 percent), according to a recent Women In Optometry Pop-Up Poll.

Technology for sterilizing frames topped the new purchase list, with 75 percent of respondents saying that they added a new way of cleaning frames between patients. Other common responses included:

• Diagnostic instruments that allow for social distancing: 50 percent
• Kiosks for taking patients’ temperature: 40 percent
• Telemedicine applications: 35 percent
• EMR to enable work-at-home options: 20 percent

Click here to read the full story from Women In Optometry.

All Optical Sales Categories Suffer Substantial Declines Due to Severe Winter Weather, Jobson Practice Performance Tracker Says

By Staff
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 12:27 AM NEW YORK—All optical sales categories suffered substantial declines nationally over the course of last week (Feb. 15-21) due to historically severe winter weather, according to Jobson’s Practice Performance Tracker. Declines in optical sales ranged from -14 index points for contact lenses to -16 index points for gross revenue and lens pairs. These numbers are likely to rebound when the impact from severe winter weather has passed. Also this past week, the U.S. approached an unfortunate milestone, half a million dead due to COVID-19, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

Midwest Best Set for Chicago to Showcase Indie Brands, March 25-27

By Staff
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 12:15 AM CHICAGO—Coming together with a common goal and a shared desire to re-establish a more personal exchange between brand and customers possibly within a safe and relaxed environment, leading independent eyewear brands are joining forces again to hold Midwest Best, a cooperative kick-off to the spring/summer order season which will be held here March 25-27. Organized in collaboration with Marriott Suites-O'Hare in Rosemont, Ill., each brand will have its own suite, enabling the showing of collections in a safe environment, organizers said. The group, held a similar show last October, as VMAIL reported and this is its third event in Chicago.

Biden Administration Changes PPP Rules to Help Reach the Smallest Businesses

By Staff
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 12:01 AM While the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has delivered urgent relief to many businesses across the country, the initial round of PPP last year left too many minority-owned and mom and pop businesses out while larger, well connected businesses got funds quickly.

COVID's Impact on Optical, Examines the Year of 2020 Numbers in Review in a Special Report from Jobson Research

By Staff
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 12:27 AM NEW YORK—Having conducted a series of exclusive surveys and studies throughout the course of 2020 and continuing into this year, Jobson Research's ongoing research with U.S. eyecare professionals and optical retailers provided regular and consistent perspectives on the dramatic and pervasive impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the optical business and the vision care space. A new special report, "COVID's Impact on Optical: The Year of 2020 Numbers in Review," takes a broader view of the industry's performance since March through December of 2020, offering a unique portrait of the pandemic's consequences.

California Optometric Association Notes State’s Decision to Allow Optometrists to Administer COVID-19 Vaccine

By Staff
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 12:15 AM SACRAMENTO, Calif.—In a move to address the state’s shortage of health care providers available to administer COVID-19 vaccines, the California Department of Consumer Affairs approved a public health emergency waiver that will allow doctors of optometry to administer COVID-19 vaccines to persons 16 years of age or older, according to the California Optometric Association (COA). Optometrists can immediately help with surge capacity at mass vaccination sites once more vaccine is available, COA noted earlier this month.

Amcon Labs Debuts Anti-Fog Cloth

By Staff
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 12:05 AM

Retail Sales Soared Last Month, as Shoppers Rushed to Spend Their Stimulus Checks

By Staff
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 12:01 AM I think probably the pivot point was the distribution of the vaccine. People are, in general, feeling more confident that if they have avoided the virus thus far, they will likely avoid the virus in the future.