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Getting Into the Glasses Game: Warby Parker Takes Over

Bracha Arnold
November 6, 2023
Getting Into the Glasses Game: Warby Parker Takes Over

Since its founding in 2010, Warby Parker has grown into a publicly traded company worth well over $1B USD. As the company continues to expand its brick-and-mortar footprint, we take a closer look at the brand’s offline visitation trends to see what foot traffic and audience segmentation data reveals about the chain. 

Baseline Change Beats Odds

Warby Parker is one of the original DNB (Digitally Native Business) to brick-and-mortar success stories. After three years of operating an online-only business, the company opened its first offline store in 2013 and has since grown at a rapid rate, ending Q2 2023 with more than 200 stores across the U.S. and Canada. The brand’s rapid brick-and-mortar expansion has driven a surge in visits –  by September 2023, monthly visits were 97.5% higher than they had been four years prior. 

Consistent Growth Across The Board

Zooming into monthly visits and visit per venue numbers between May and September 2023 highlights the ongoing success of Warby Parker’s expansion. Not only are visits consistently up compared to 2022 – as may be expected given the company’s larger 2023 store fleet – but the number of average visits per venue was mostly up as well year over year (YoY). 

Opening new stores can sometimes carry the risk of cannibalization, but Warby Parker seems to have avoided that fate – the brand’s stores are, on average, more crowded now than they were last year.The company hopes to grow its fleet to at least 900 stores – and if current trends are any indication, these stores will be met by steady demand. 

Demographic Games

Analyzing the audience segments that visit the brand’s offline stores offers further insights into the chain’s sustained success. And layering the Personalive dataset onto Warby Parker’s nationwide captured market trade area  – reveals that the brand is popular among high-income consumer groups. 

When compared to a nationwide baseline of 100, Warby Parker visitors over-indexed for “Ultra Wealthy Families,” “Educated Urbanites,” “Young Professionals,” and “Sunset Boomers" – all segments defined as well-earning and high-income. So although Warby Parker was initially founded with the goal of establishing an affordable alternative to expensive designer eyeglasses, the brand still seems to attract wealthier consumers – whose relative affluence may shield them from the impact of inflation. 

A new pair of glasses can be both an essential healthcare purchase and a fun way to spruce up a tired wardrobe. And Warby Parker’s positioning as a low-cost glasses brand may be driving its less budget-conscious visitor base to shell out more readily on this affordable luxury.

Raise A Glass

Warby Parker seems to have found its stride, opening stores at an impressive pace while maintaining strong visitation patterns among a coveted consumer segment. 

Will Warby Parker continue to succeed in the eyewear space? 

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