Report: Warby Parker to Open Hundreds of Stores Over the Next Few Years
Warby Parker, one of the first retail startups to use a direct-to-consumer business model, is planning to open hundreds of brick-and-mortar stores with eye exam spaces over the next few years due to customer demand for physical destinations that offer eye examinations, according to co-CEO David Gilboa, in a report on CNBC.com. By the end of 2022, the retailer's goal is to have 200 stores with eye exam suites in operation.
“As we talk to our customers and ask them why they’re not shopping with Warby Parker, the dual highest responses are one, that there’s not a store near me, and the second is that I don’t have a current prescription,” Gilboa told CNBC. “And so we’re really working to solve those problems for customers by making our stores as accessible and convenient as possible.”
Total Retail's Take: This is a bold move for Warby Parker, especially since the company had a net loss of $32.2 million during Q2 2022 — up from $21.9 million in Q2 2021. What's more, in August 2022, Warby Parker eliminated 63 corporate positions, reducing its executive workforce by 15 percent and total employee count by 2 percent. The cuts were made in response to economic challenges as inflation continued to increase.
However, in Q2 2022, Warby Parker reported net revenues of $149.6 million, a 13.7 percent increase over Q2 2021. Active customers also increased 8.7 percent to 2.26 million year-over-year, and average revenue per customer also grew 8.2 percent to $254. The business is also seeing a strong uptake from its contact lens offering, with revenue from contacts more than doubling in the most recent quarter. Warby Parker said many existing customers who first came to the company for glasses end up buying contacts. For these reasons, opening up physical stores may indeed be a good idea.
Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.