Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Retailer Spotlight of the Month: Warby Parker

Warby Parker is a socially-conscious business that offers trendy designer eye wear at affordable prices. The business began online before opening its first brick-and-mortar store in New York City's SoHo neighborhood in 2013. Similar to TOMS Shoe,Warby Parker practices a one-for-one social model by distributing eyeglasses to those in need through non-profit, VisionSpring. Warby Parker stores not only offer non-prescription glasses to be sold right away, but also include an in-house optometrist and store pick-up services. Stores have bright, open layouts with floor to ceiling displays and is artfully decorated with mid-century furniture and mono-hued books, mimicking the interiors of an old library. 

Price Point
Moderate, most products cost less than $100

Target Market
High potential customers tend to be 'millenials', or men and women aged 22 to 35, who are educated, sophisticated, and tech-savvy. According to co-founder, Dave Gilboa, “These customers love discovering new brands and styles but also want to make smart choices”. Warby Parker’s appeal lies in its clean, beautifully-designed products, stores, and signage.

Warby Parker was first an online retailer that provided an alternative to artificially high prices of eye wear. By ‘circumventing traditional channels and designing glasses in-house’, Warby Parker has been able to provide high-quality, designer prescription eye wear at a fraction of the usual price. Its online platform began with a simple Home Try-On Program that enabled customers to pick 5 frames to try on at home for 5 days, for free! Once the 5 days were up, customers sent the frames back with a prepaid return label and if they chose to purchase one permanently, a fresh new pair got sent within a week.
In 2011, Warby Parker began partnering with boutiques to open stores-within-stores/ ‘pop ups’ or small showrooms where customers could try on eyeglasses in person. These showrooms were all over the country including Nashville, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and were raking in profits. Finally, in 2013, Warby Parker opened their first, flagship retail store. Since opening brick-and-mortar stores, Warby Parker has also begun to build its status as a lifestyle brand. With over 40 stores all over the country, Warby Parker now also offers carefully-curated magazines and books. 

Expansion Plans
The selective locations of Warby Parker outlets offers a prestige to the neighborhoods that the business chooses. So far, it can only be found in the U.S. and Canada in cities like New York, Seattle, Miami, Chicago, Portland, Los Angeles, and Toronto. However, the store's retail expansion does not seem to be slowing down as it continues to expand globally.

Site Requirements
Average store size: 1,613 sq ft [as of Nov 2014]

Contact Info
888.492.7297 help@warbyparker.com

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