Eyecare Business

AUG 2016

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66 E y e c a r e B u s i n e s s . c o m August 2016 T he Midwest is a study in contrasts with its waves of grain in the plains and spiraling waves of crime in some metro markets. It's no surprise that the economy in this region reflects a mix, as well. The Midwest is home to both the nation's highest and lowest unemployment numbers, as well as the highest retail real estate vacancy rate (but the lowest asking rent). What about optical? This beleaguered region reveals the fewest eyecare businesses with quarterly sales increases—as well as the most with sales declines—since last year. In terms of product, metal frames are more popular than other regions—a reflection, in part, of the Midwest's manufacturing and farming workforces. While pricing has remained stable, Mid- western ECPs have surprisingly shone more than in other regions in emphasizing higher- priced product, digitally produced lenses, and sunwear. A hefty 63% of practices, how- ever, still don't edge lenses in house. In short, the nation's breadbasket remains conservative in some areas, like edging, but has become more progressive in others, like online sales. The midwesT The Heartland Highs and Lows, from Omaha to Ohio O N C O M P E T I N G . "[We are] hiring new staff and streamlining frame lines, and joining a new doctor/buying group." — MIDWEST ECP F E A T U R E A M E R I C A N D E M O G R A P H I C S EB

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