Warby Parker was founded with a lofty objective in a time when eye care was and always has been expensive. Their goal was to offer eyewear at a revolutionary price.
The idea for Warby Parker began when one of the founders lost their glasses during a backpacking trip. The cost to replace his glasses was so expensive that he spent a semester of grad school squinting. On a tight budget, many days were spent looking for inexpensive eye care with no luck.
Like all great businesses the founding team started with a problem. Eyewear was expensive, much more expensive that it seemed like it should be. They found the reason why. There was a monopoly by a manufacturer that was able to keep prices extremely high with no competition.
By cutting out the manufacturer and designing glasses in-house Warby Parker was born. They also created a social mission. Approximately one billion people around the world lack proper eyewear. For every pair of glasses sold, Warby Parker partners with non-profits around the world to get a pair of glasses to someone in need.
Glasses at Warby Parker start at $95. A much lower price point than had ever been available before in prescription eyewear. Now if a student is on a tight budget and loses their glasses they can afford to get the eye care they need right away.
Many of their retail locations offer 20-minute eye exams for anyone over 18 and if you're under 18 you can simply bring along one of your parents. If you know your prescription you can order a pair of glasses online. They allow you to choose five frames and they ship all five pairs of glasses to your door. You pick your favorite pair and send back the rest. If you don't like any of them ship all five back for free.
You would think with a new and fashionable business that Warby Parker would be completely focused on eCommerce but Warby Parker is aggressively growing their retail presence as well.
They have opened thirty-one stores within the last six years, with plans to open fifteen more stores in the near future. With good reason, the profit margins at Warby Parker are rivaled by only Apple and Tiffany's.
A little-known fact outside of retail is that while eCommerce is a booming industry and doing well, traditional retail stores still outsell eCommerce ten to one.
Warby Parker integrates having an outstanding eCommerce experience as well as beautifully designed and customer-centric retail shops. Offering the best of both worlds for their happy customers.
At the retail stores, sales associates help you quickly checkout with the iPads they all carry so that there is no need to go stand in line when you want to make a purchase.
The iPad also comes with extra bonuses, for example, sales associates can use them to take pictures of you and send you an email so you can make your decision at a later time.