Eyecare Business

AUG 2016

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August 2016 E y e c a r e B u s i n e s s . c o m 55 " S low and steady, but not exciting." That's how Ryan Severino, CFA, senior economist at Reis, Inc., describes retail business for the first quarter of 2016 (Q1). Though the economy grew at its slowest rate in two years, The Associated Press reports, "that was actually slightly faster…than estimated. However, shockwaves from Britain's decision to leave the E.U. could spread to the U.S. economy in coming months." The good news for Q1 is that, in optical, ECPs increased sales com- pared with a year earlier, according to the exclusive Eyecare Business Regional Trends in the Optical Mar- ketplace study. Eyecare profession- als in the West and Northeast fared the best, with the highest number of respondents in these regions report- ing sales in Q1 2016 vs. Q1 2015 as "Up." [See bar graphs.] Eyecare professionals in all regions of the country—from the Northeast and Midwest to the South and West— also experienced rises in revenues from 2014 to 2015. UP DOWN FLAT 65% 21% 15% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% UP DOWN FLAT UP DOWN FLAT UP DOWN FLAT 53% 18% 30% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% NORTHEAST SOUTH MIDWEST WEST 47% 28% 25% 66% 9% 26% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% "Due to business growth we are building our own new clinic. [We] also hired a new M.D." —NORTHEAST ECP HEALTHY STATS ACROSS THE U.S. ✔ EMPLOYMENT. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national jobless rate in May was 4.7%, down a healthy 0.8% from May 2015. ✔ PRICES. The quarterly average Consumer Price Index (the measure of the average change over time in prices paid by consumers for goods and services, as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) rose slightly—to 237.4 in Q1 2016, compared with 237.2 in Q4 2015. ✔ REAL ESTATE. According to Reis, Inc., the average Q1 nationwide retail asking rent of $20.20 per square foot was up 0.5% from Q4 2015. What's ahead in retail real estate? "There's a structural change in the market, as the focus on experiential shopping is causing transitions from simply cater[ing] to perfunctory shopping to hybrid complexes," says Reis' Severino. HOW DID Q1 2016 SALES COMPARE WITH Q1 2015 SALES?

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