Warby Parker started out in 2010 as a sole direct-to-consumer company, but quickly found that their real potential was in physical retail. Shortly after, the brand ventured into brick and mortar in 2013, and has grown their store count significantly since then. The New-York based company will open 40 new stores in 2022, bringing their total count to 201 locations.
“We expect most of our 2022 growth to be driven by our retail channel, as traffic and sales productivity rebound,” said Chief Executive Office, Neil Blumenthal.
The company hopes to expand services in their stores, such as offering eye exams, to expand value at each site. In turn, this will create added traffic levels to their already high traffic locations.
Warby Parker is expected to bring in a net revenue increase of 20-22% this year, compared with 37% growth from 2021. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, Warby Parker reported a revenue increase of about 18% to $132.9 million.
The eyewear seller is among dozens of other digitally-focused brands that have made the push to shift towards physical retail in the past year. Warby Parker has aggressively pursued brick and mortar since opening its first store in 2013, and last year alone the company added 35 new stores.
“Last year, we commissioned a third-party study that concluded our retail footprint has room to expand to over 900 retail locations in the U.S.,” said Blumenthal. “This is still a fraction of the 41,000 optical shops that exist today.”
E-commerce traction for the eyewear market remains low, while physical stores have become a more profitable route. The company plans to continue with a brick and mortar push to increase overall sales and provide a human-centered approach to their consumer’s shopping experiences.