A Look at How the Sears Business Model Inspired the Warby Parker Brand

Popular and trendy eyewear company, Warby Parker, is largely known for its online-based business presence. But with brick-and-mortar locations in states across the country today, the prescription glasses and sunglasses brand’s unique retail strategy has been largely inspired by a company one probably wouldn’t expect: Sears.

pencil sketches of warby parker glasses With Sears’ beginnings as a solely mail-order business who opened its first storefront after almost 30 years, the act of having customers look over products before having them sent by mail is a model that Warby Parker built its foundation on in 2010. Today, the eyewear brand has grown from being solely digital to having more than 70 locations around the U.S. and Canada, with several more to come. This expansion has provided space for Warby Parker to experiment with new products as well as demographics with its newly released children’s line, for example.

For both Sears and Warby Parker, the human, in-person elements that only the physical retail experience can provide, paired with innovative data-driven technology that makes up successful online retail, has proved to be an effective and successful combination. “One of the things we focus on is staying in touch with what our customers want,” said Kelly Radford, VP of real estate and development at Warby Parker, according to Digiday. “We have to find ways to allow technology to help bolster the retail experience. We also pay a lot of attention to the actual customer experience. It’s really important that that human moment remains.”

Learn more about how Sears inspired Warby Parker here.

Photo credit: Warby Parker