June 8, 2022
ODs with practices in suburban locations may find soon find themselves going head-to-head with a Warby Parker store down the street, according to reporting by Maile McCann in Modern Retail.
“In order to continue to grow its customer base, Warby Parker is moving further away from its digital direct-to-consumer business and, instead, expanding its brick-and-mortar doors. The retailer opened eight stores in the first quarter and plans to open 40 total across 2022, primarily in suburban locations,” McCann writes, synthesizing information shared by Warby Parker on May 16.
Warby Parker co-founder and co-CEO Neil Blumenthal shared insights on why the suburbs are being eyed for growth. “As we think about retail productivity not only [are] U.S. consumers are returning to normal habits and visiting shopping centers, but our store fleet has been shifting from urban to suburban,” McCann quotes Blumenthal as saying.
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Chris Jones, co-founder of digital marketing strategy firm Markacy shared with McCann that Warby Parker’s interest in the suburbs ties to a larger trend.
“Innovation isn’t just happening amongst younger demographics and isn’t just happening in the big cities, it’s now happening across the board,” said Jones. “I think what you’re seeing Warby take advantage of is people who are not just living in the cities. There’s a lot of sort of folks that are interested in products like Warby Parker, that are living in suburban markets… because they can work from home,” Jones tells McCann.