Japanese eyewear brand JINS announced it would expand into the United States this spring with a flagship store in San Francisco. The company will also launch its U.S. e-commerce site.
The fashion innovator in the prescription and non-prescription eyewear category has grown to become Japan's largest eyewear retailer by volume. It first opened in 2001 and now has more than 300 locations across Japan and China. The brand is known for its affordability and high quality. The company also focuses on speed. Prescription lenses are assembled in-store via JINS' Kanna lens lab. Customers can shop and wear a pair of glasses out of the store within 30 minutes.
The U.S. flagship will be located at 151 Powell Street in Union Square and span 4,900 sq. ft.
Not a company to rest on its laurels, JINS also announced last month that it will bring MEME, a new class of smart eyewear, to the U.S. market in the fall. JINS MEME is the first eyewear to use eye-tracking and bio-sensing technology to detect tiny changes in eye and body movements for safety, wellness and health.
"We chose the Bay Area as our first stop in the U.S. because it perfectly reflects JINS' progressive spirit and passion for innovation," said Shinsuke Tomita, president of JINS Eyewear U.S. "With the opening of the San Francisco store, we hope to change the way people think about shopping for glasses in the U.S. Similar to how we shop for shoes or jewelry, we want our customers to explore countless designs and color options without being limited by the unnecessary complexities and inflated prices that are still the norm in the eyewear industry today."
At the same time, JINS will begin selling online in the United States. Customers will be able to order from anywhere in the country and San Francisco area residents will be able to purchase glasses online and pick them up in-store the same day.
Fashionable eyewear is a growing market in the United States. Competitor Warby Parker expanded from strictly e-commerce into brick-and-mortar retail this year. The company now has nine stand-alone stores including three in New York, two in Los Angeles, one in each Boston, Dallas and Atlanta, and it opened its first dedicated Chicago storefront last fall.
-See this JINS press release
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