For its first three years of life, Warby Parker sold prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses, and it only did so online. Inspired by shoe seller Zappos, it pitched itself as a customer service-driven answer to the allegedly overpriced lenses sold in stores by competitors like Luxottica.
But as Warby Parker co-CEOs Dave Gilboa and Neil Blumenthal explained on the latest episode of Re/code Decode, this week guest-hosted by Re/code Senior Commerce Editor Jason Del Rey, early online success didn’t mean they had to stay online forever. Since 2013, the company has opened 27 retail stores, with 20 more on the way; it calls these outlets “highly profitable,” and also credits them with driving additional online sales. See more at Re/code.