Classic Optical Sees Pent-Up Demand Fuel Sales

BOARDMAN – Classic Optical looked to celebrate 50 years in business in 2020. “When the year did not turn out as expected, the team showed why we’ve been in business for so long,” says Morgan Hartzell, managing director.

The company, a wholesale optical lab, produces custom eyeglasses. As such, when the lockdown occurred, it was deemed essential by the state.

By March, non-manufacturing personnel were working remotely and the company began producing its own hand sanitizer to augment the limited supply.

April and May brought a steady decline in orders, Hartzell says. The company had to furlough some employees.

“By June, we were seeing orders pick back up and we brought back employees as quickly as we could.”

Then, in the third and fourth quarters, revenue grew. Sales lost during the lockdown months were delayed. “So when we saw a return of orders, it was our usual demand plus pent-up demand,” Hartzell says. “Order volume for some customers was 20% to 35% greater than prior year in those months. That fueled a successful landing in an otherwise tumultuous year.  It made for one heck of a hockey stick graph of sales growth and recovery.” 

In 2020, Classic Optical provided over 1.4 million pairs of eyeglasses  to companies serving all 50 states. 

Last year the company also gave back to the local community.

“We shared our homemade hand sanitizer with local first responders and partnered with the Essilor Vision Foundation to donate PPE to local medical professionals, first responders, hospitals and essential workers,” Hartzell says.