Eyewear company Warby Parker introduced its newest augmented reality feature: A virtual try-on, where customers can use an iPhone’s camera technology to see how the different frames would look while worn.
“And this is the first of its kind, true to scale virtual try on," Warby Parker co-founder Dave Gilboa said on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria.” "So you can see exactly how glasses will fit, not only the right width but where they'll actually sit on your face … That's something that we developed in-house, and it's been really popular with our customers.”
The company has grown rapidly since its launch in 2010, transitioning from working out of an apartment to storefronts nationwide. They credit their success to great value.
“Nine-and-a-half years later, we have over 2000 employees,” Gilboa said. "We have over 100 stores. And I think more than anything, we've just focused on delivering great value to customers. So taking a product that normally costs a few hundred dollars and offering it starting at $95, including prescription lenses and trying to make the purchase process as easy as possible, whether people want to order online or in one of our stores.”
Gilboa said they started Warby Parker because they took a look at the eyewear industry and couldn't find a reason that justified high pricing. They decided to sell directly to the consumer through an online shop as well as stores, cutting out a great deal of the middlemen.
Warby Parker has an optical lab outside of New York City but produces its lenses in Italy, Japan and China. Gilboa said because of that, their business has been affected by China tariffs.
“Some of our suppliers are in China, and so the tariffs are impacting us,” Gilboa said. “And we're having conversations with our suppliers and thinking about what our supply chains should look like strategically over the next few years.”
Warby Parker co-founder Neil Blumenthal said moving production to the U.S. is not something the company can do quickly.
“The entire optical industry is very dependent on China and all the component pieces,” Warby Parker co-founder Neil Blumenthal said. “So it's not just the final assembly, but the core wire, the hinges, the screws, the raw materials."