NEW YORK—Today, Warby Parker moves into new optical territory as it enters the contact lens arena in the U.S., with the debut of a branded daily wear contact lens called Scout. The new daily lens was developed by the company, executives said, with a Japanese contact lens manufacturer. The lens is described as "made from a super-moist, breathable material that resists drying for lasting hydration. The lenses incorporate Centraform technology for wearing comfort." The lenses will be priced $55 per eye for a 90-day pack, $110 for a 90-day supply of two lenses, or approximately $440 a year. Each Scout lens comes in an innovative, space-saving flat pack that’s easier to transport and store than a traditional contact blister pack, the company noted, adding that it uses almost 80 percent less packaging than traditional contact packs. Dave Gilboa, co-ceo of Warby Parker, told VMAIL, "We have been thinking about contact lenses for several years. Being a direct-to-consumer brand, we get a lot of feedback from our end customers, and roughly 40 percent of them wear contact lenses. We're hopeful that they will love the opportunity to get their contact lenses prescriptions from us, when they see our ODs. In addition, he said, " If you are a customer not near one of the WP stores, or want to go to a doc you've been seeing, that doctor, outside of the WP system, can request one of the six-day trial kits as well." Warby has been piloting contact lenses in some of its offices during the past year, he noted (the company currently operates 112 locations and has 80 optometrists.)

Similar to Warby's at-home try-ons for its glasses, the company is offering a similar model for its lenses. Customers with prescriptions can order a six-day trial of contacts for $5 before purchasing a three-month supply. Warby's announcement said, "Similar to how we make test-driving frames easy and stress-free, trying Scout is no exception. Gilboa also told VMAIL, "We also want to serve all of our customers and we recognize that many contact lens patients are satisfied with their existing lenses, and we will offer those popular contact lens brands, too, a variety of other contact lens brands—available both online and in stores—that correct a range of prescriptions." Those are posted on the site.

"But," Gilboa continued, "we spent much of the 18 months searching for a contact lens that meets the right combination of being comfortable, breathable, sustainable and affordable, and we found a way to introduce a lens under our own brand, Scout. The new flat pack, he pointed out, "is also more hygienic in that it presents the outer surface of the lens facing up, reducing the need to touch the inner surface, and potentially transferring bacteria and debris into the eye. We are very excited about this initiative, which represents a true cross-functional effort on our part with dozens of ODs, our merchandise, planning, engineers, r&d and e-comm teams all involved. We want to give consumers as much choice as possible."

Warby's announcement stated, "From day one, we’ve believed shopping for eyewear should be easy, fun, and seamless. This idea is what drives us to keep innovating within our industry—and it’s also the same approach we’re applying to our first contact lenses... The addition of Scout really puts us in a position of being a one-stop shop.”

More details about the new Warby Parker contact lens program are posted here