Warby Parker marries online with off-line expansion

The eyewear company Warby Parker, which launched as an e-commerce site, has opened 12 physical locations in two years and plans to open seven more before 2016. Next up are openings in Kansas City, Missouri; Scottsdale, Arizona; and San Diego.

Warby Parker's plunge into brick-and-mortar space was fueled by raising $100 million in venture capital earlier this year. In addition, physical retail has been a huge chunk of the company's growth, Fashionista reported. Traffic dramatically increased in cities where physical stores are located, according to Warby Parker's co-founder Dave Gilboa.

"Every store that we've opened has been highly successful any way that you measure it in terms of customer satisfaction, traffic that we're seeing, sales profitability," Gilboa told Fashionista. "The metrics that we're seeing out of the stores themselves are really on the same level as best-in-class retailers, only rivaled by companies like Tiffany and Apple."

According to company research, 30 to 50 percent of shoppers that purchase in-store are unlikely to have made a purchase online. However, 90 percent of those who shop in stores have been to the company's website and will most likely make a future purchase online.

Warby Parker is making the jump from online to off-line shopping seamless by providing online customer data to in-store sales associates. The retailer is also working on technology to enable eye exams for shoppers via a mobile device. In 2014, Warby Parker topped Fast Company's list of the world's most innovative companies.

The retailer does not expect to slow down expansion anytime soon. In fact, Gilboa expects store openings will only accelerate in the coming years.

For more:
-See this Fashionista article

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