Eyewear company Warby Parker has announced positive revenue growth for the first quarter, despite facing challenges that caused a decline in profits. The New York-based company revealed that net revenues for the first quarter, ending on March 31, rose by 10.3% to $153.2 million. However, Warby Parker did experience an estimated loss of $15 million in sales due to the impact of the omicron variant, affecting the last weeks of December and continuing into the first quarter.

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Warby Parker managed to increase its active customer base by 18%, reaching 2.23 million customers from the previous year. The average revenue per customer also saw a boost of 11.2% to $249. This growth can be attributed to the company’s expansion efforts, with the opening of eight new stores during the first quarter, bringing its total number of stores to 169.

Dave Gilboa, the co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker, expressed pride in the company’s achievements during the quarter. Alongside the new store openings, Warby Parker expanded its eye exam capacity and launched four new eyewear collections. The company also prioritized customer experiences and worked on strengthening its vertically-integrated supply chain.

However, despite the positive sales performance, Warby Parker reported a loss of $34.1 million, compared to earnings of $37.1 million in the previous year. This decline in earnings was primarily due to an increase in selling, general, and administrative expenses, including stock-based compensation expense and related employer payroll taxes.

Neil Blumenthal, the co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker, acknowledged the challenging economic environment but expressed confidence in the company’s ability to outperform competitors. He highlighted the company’s omnichannel business model, compelling value proposition, and strong consumer brand as factors that will help capture market share in both favorable and turbulent environments.

Looking ahead, Warby Parker expects to achieve net revenue of $650 to $660 million for 2022, representing a growth rate of 20% to 22% compared to the previous year. The company also plans to continue its retail network expansion by opening 40 new stores throughout the year.

Useful links:
1. Warby Parker Official Website
2. Warby Parker IPO Coverage on CNBC