Eyewear retailer, Warby Parker, is set to embark on an ambitious physical expansion as part of its growth strategy. In 2021 alone, the company plans to open approximately 36 new locations, bringing the total number of stores to around 160. However, this is just the beginning, as the company sees significant potential in opening hundreds more stores in the future.

According to co-founder and co-CEO Neil Blumenthal, Warby Parker has a unique opportunity for expansion when compared to its competitors in the optical retail industry. While many large public optical retailers have over a thousand locations across the United States, Warby Parker still sees room for growth. Blumenthal believes that the majority of Americans prefer to purchase glasses in person, highlighting the potential for physical retail.

Warby Parker was one of the first companies to disrupt the eyewear industry with its online approach. By offering affordable glasses online and allowing customers to try on different frames at home, the company revolutionized the way people buy eyewear. However, in recent years, growth has slowed down due to increased competition from newer digital-native brands and traditional retailers improving their e-commerce experiences.

As Warby Parker seeks the next stage of its growth, it aims to not only expand its physical presence but also enhance the services it offers. The company plans to bring more trained eye doctors into its stores, with approximately 80 locations already providing this service. Additionally, becoming a covered provider on more vision insurance plans is seen as a potential strategy for success.

Given that Warby Parker is preparing for its initial public offering, the success of its physical retail efforts will play a crucial role. The company’s investors have already shown their faith by investing $530 million over the past 11 years, underlining the importance of driving momentum and achieving growth. By expanding its physical presence, Warby Parker aims to capture a larger market share and solidify its position as a leading eyewear retailer.

Useful links:
1. Warby Parker Official Website
2. Business of Fashion – Warby Parker Expansion Plans