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ECP Revenue, Exam Levels Differ Across 4 U.S. Regions, Per COVID-19 Tracker

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NEW YORK—Regional differences, in both ECP gross revenues and the number of exams/refractions, showed dips in the Northeast and West Coast regions, business flat in the Midwest and a slight uptick in the South, reflected in the latest Jobson COVID-19 Performance Tracker for the week ending Aug. 9. However, across the board, the U.S. optical business changed little on a national level over the previous week, even as the country surpassed more than 5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 160,000 deaths from the coronavirus. Nationwide, gross revenue remained flat, while three service/product categories dropped by only 1 index point (exams/refractions, frame units, lens pairs), and contact lenses increased by 3 index points.

The changes to the optical business on a regional level were more pronounced for the week. Often suffering the largest decreases since the beginning of the pandemic, the Northeast once again experienced the greatest losses, particularly a decline of 4 index points for gross revenue, frame units, and lens pairs.

Contact lenses experienced the largest increases of 6 index points in both the Midwest and West. The Northeast had an increase of COVID-19 cases in only one state, while the West and Midwest had an increase in four and nine states, respectively, (according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker, showing that the prevalence of the coronavirus does not necessarily impact the optical business.

In parallel, consumer concerns about COVID-19 ticked up again, reaching above the 60 percent mark, a few points higher than the previously measured week ending Aug. 2. However, slightly less than 20 percent of consumers reported cancelling or postponing eyewear purchases for the week ending Aug. 9.

The Jobson COVID-19 Practice Performance Tracker data is compiled by Jobson Research from GPN and ABB Analyze data. Another element of the report illustrates Consumer Sentiments about the COVID-19 response and purchasing intentions, with data supplied by The Vision Council.

Click here to view the complete Jobson COVID-19 Performance Tracker.