A fast-growing online retailer that specializes in vintage-style discount eyewear has set its sights on Carytown.
On Thursday, New York-based Warby Parker will open a pop-up store inside Need Supply Co., a clothing shop at 3100 W. Cary St. Prescription glasses and sunglasses will be available in the shop for at least six months, said Need Supply spokeswoman Molly Szkotak.
Need Supply Co. will carry the Warby Parker’s full line of about 100 frames, Szkotak said. She said the shop expects plenty of traffic on the first day alone.
“We’ll be the only showroom in this area, so we fully expect people to drive down from D.C. for this,” Szkotak said. “It’s an exciting opportunity.”
She said Warby Parker approached the boutique in September about opening a showroom.
“We’ve been longtime admirers of the brand, and this seemed like a natural fit for us,” Szkotak said.
Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and co-chief executive of Warby Parker, said the company targeted the Richmond market because the city matches the aesthetic of their vintage-inspired glasses.
“We liked the way Richmond’s citizens have preserved the past while mixing in a contemporary attitude,” Blumenthal said in an email. “Need Supply Co. is a good-looking, intelligently-curated store. The partnership is ideal.”
The three-year-old eyeware company sells plastic and metal frames online starting at $95. Over the past two years, the company has made a push to expand the brand by launching several brick-and-mortar locations.
They’ve opened pop-up shops in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Charleston, S.C., and unveiled a flagship store last month in New York.
The Richmond space will be the 10th showroom for Warby Parker.
Warby Parker will rent the showroom space from Need Supply Co, and customers will place their orders through the eyewear retailer.
This. Is. Awesome.
I’m wearing a pair of Warby Parker glasses right now. I can attest to the quality of their frames, their customer service and overall value.
The glasses feel (and look) just as nice as my Ray-Bans that, when purchased with prescription lenses, cost 3.5x as much.
The hardest part about ordering WP glasses is getting the correct pupillary distance for your prescriptions. Optometrists are really hesitant to give you that measurement unless you purchase glasses from them. Hopefully they’ll have someone on site to handle that for them.
If they have someone on site to handle measurements and adjustments that person must be a Licensed Optician; to do otherwise would be illegal. Look for the optician’s license which must be displayed by law.
Its really no wonder that your WP glasses feel like the same quality as your RayBans…They are both probably made in the same Chinese factory by the same children. Anyone can sell glasses for $95 or less if you don’t have to employ trained opticians to measure, fit, and adjust. If you choose to use an off-shore lab to make lenses that do not have to meet the same quality/safety standards as those made in the USA. If you tell all of your customers that your competition will service their product for free for life. I am still amazed that… Read more »
@ Michelle Nelms – it is a showroom for trying on the glasses, no where does it say that there would be measurements or adjustments. Measuring pupillary distance would not be “illegal”.
@Megan – If it is a showroom for trying on glasses, then there is nothing “illegal” about that. However, if they are employing a person to take measurements (i.e. the pupillary distance) then that person must be a licensed optician.
Do we really need a regulation about who can conduct measurements? Talk about a good example of regulations that are killing this country.
And yes, I’ve had plenty of licensed opticians mis-measure my eyes. The horrible consequence was… I had to get my glasses remade. At no cost.
So basically, the regulations didn’t protect me, and the harm wasn’t great.
There is a role for regulation, but once its applied to everything under the sun its a cancer.