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Rising Inflation Rates Squeezing Eyecare Industry

A Consumer Price Index nearing 9% is forcing business owners into tough decisions.




It is nearly impossible for anyone to escape unscathed the effects of the rising inflation rates around the globe. We all are dealing with varying degrees of sticker shock at the gas pump, at the grocery store, and when the waiter brings the check.

The U.S. inflation rate is currently at its highest level since the early 1980s. The consumer price index has remained above 8% year over year since March. It could eclipse 9% for June once numbers are finalized.

And we are not alone.

A Pew Research Center study last month of 44 advanced economies found that nearly all were experiencing substantial price increases compared to pre-pandemic times. The U.S.’s first-quarter annual inflation rate of just under 8% ranked 13th-highest among the countries in the study.

Turbulent economic times especially are worrisome for business owners. This real struggle is the basis of one of the most important questions we’ve posed in our monthly Brain Squad surveys this year:

“With inflation on the rise, what budget-saving ideas have you implemented in your business to cut down costs?”


Austerity measures can make or break a business. The responses we’ve received so far tend to acknowledge the precariousness of the situation. We’ll share three comments here. We certainly hope others chime in, if they haven’t already done so. You can make your way to the July survey here.

Your insight might just be the key to a fellow business owner staying afloat.

  • Travis LeFevre, of Krystal Vision in Logan, UT, is taking a pragmatic approach: “We are starting to charge for our time (repairs, nosepad replacements, etc.).  We have raised lens prices and continue to try and save on shipping and business costs wherever we can.”
  • Jennifer Leuzzi, of Mill Creek Optical in Dansville, NY, is preparing for a worst-case scenario: “We’re already working to reduce our back stock and we’re planning a few upcoming events to ad (to) our savings. We see a recession coming and don’t see glasses as a priority for the folks who just overpaid for their house.”
  • Dr. Scott Mann, of Invision in Christianburg, VA, is just calling it like he sees it: “It is not easy to cut your way to prosperity. Unfortunately, many of these costs will get ‘passed along,’ just as we see from our vendor partners every month.”

There are plenty of other questions in the July survey, too. We promise not all are so heavy! However, each provide invaluable insights into the industry we all call home. We hope all Brain Squad members take 5 minutes to share their thoughts and experiences.

And we encourage any owner or manager of an eyecare business that isn’t part of our group to join the fray.

Jump right in – the water’s warm!

RELATED: Here’s How to Join The Brain Squad



The Brain Squad is INVISION’s monthly survey panel, made up of owners and top managers of eyecare businesses across the country who have volunteered to participate. Each month, members are emailed a short survey consisting of multiple-choice and short, open-ended questions. Responses are used in departments and feature stories throughout INVISION.



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