Warby Parker Opens First Locations in Colorado, Kentucky as it Targets 25 New Showrooms in 2017


Warby Parker location in the Pizitz
Building in Birmingham, Ala.

NEW YORK—As it moves toward its goal of establishing 25 new brick-and-mortar locations in 2017, Warby Parker is scheduled to open at least three new stores in the July 8 to 22 timeframe, including its first stores in Colorado and Kentucky. The company, which launched as an online-only business in 2010, would close out 2017 with more than 70 brick-and-mortar locations if it hits the target of 25 openings this year.

The first Colorado store opened in the east end of Boulder during the weekend of July 8 to 9. Two other new Warby Parker locations are expected to debut Saturday (July 22): in Plano, Texas, and Lexington, Ky., a spokeswoman confirmed to dba earlier this week. In addition, a new Warby Parker location is expected to open in Fort Worth, Texas, before the end of the year.

The three openings mark the 53rd, 54th and 55th locations for Warby Parker, which finished 2016 with 46 retail/showroom locations and ranked No. 11 on the Vision Monday Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers list.

Warby Parker showroom in
Boston's Prudential Center.

“Our first store in the state [of Colorado], in the heart of downtown Boulder on historic Pearl Street, is the home base we’ve been eager to build for years—and it has the best mountain view of any Warby Parker store in existence,” co-founder and co-chief executive officer Dave Gilboa said in a statement announcing the Boulder opening.

Texas is becoming one of the company’s key markets in terms of brick-and-mortar showrooms, also. Warby Parker previously opened two stores in Austin and two stores in the Dallas market, and is preparing to open its first location in Houston before the end of the year. Warby Parker expects to open single locations in Los Angeles (Century City) and Milwaukee, Wis., later this year, according to its website.

In another effort to expand its appeal to prospective customers, Warby Parker in May stepped into the middle of the controversial area of online vision testing with its launch of a mobile refraction service, as VMail reported.

The new testing service lets current customers measure their visual acuity using an app called the Warby Parker Prescription Check. It is designed to help “eligible folks with expired eyeglasses prescriptions get a new one—without setting foot in a doctor’s office,” according to a Warby Parker flier.