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Warby Parker continues to expand, opens store in Chicago

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New York -- Hip online eyewear retailer Warby Parker continues its brick-and-mortar expansion. The company has opened its 12th store to date, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

The 2,200-sq.-ft. store is Warby Parker’s first permanent location in the Midwest. It joins locations in cities across the nation, including such as New York, Miami, Dallas and Los Angeles.

Similar to Warby Parker’s other stores, the Chicago outpost has a library theme, complete with a Reference Desk (where people can get their frames adjusted). It also has lots of local references. Highlights include a large wall cartoon by cartoonist, and Chicago-native, Daniel Clowes, featuring familiar sights from Chicago, including the late Roger Ebert. A wall near the entrance sports an oversized map of the city that highlights the best spots to sit and read a book.

The new store is down the street from the temporary shop the operated for five months.

While the vast majority of its sales are online, Warby Parker's growing fleet of stores have been profitable, averaging just under $3,000 in sales per square foot, he said. To compare, Apple sells an average of $4,568 a square foot and Best Buy $1,192, according to a 2014 report in The Wall Street Journal citing research firm RetailSails.

Founded in 2010, Warby Parker opened its first permanent store in 2013, in New York City. According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, the company’s stores are averaging just under $3,000 in sales per square foot, a metric that is more than double the average of most retailers. (According to a report by eMarketer, Tiffany & Co. generates $3,043 in sales per square foot.)

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