Warby Parker to open 40 stores in 2023; posts ‘solid’ Q1

Warby Parker
Warby Parker’s new store on Manhattan’s Upper West Side is the brand’s 13th New York City location.

Warby Parker is really just getting started when it comes to growing its brick-and-mortar footprint.

The direct-to-consumer eyewear brand plans to open 40 new stores this year, for a total of approximately 240 locations.  It opened six stores during the first quarter, including its 13th location in New York City, on the Upper West of Manhattan, directly across from the Museum of National History, and ended the quarter with 204 locations.

On the company’s earnings call, executives said they continue to see a long runway for growth for Warby within the $76 billion vision care market. Looking long-term co-founder and co-CEO Dave Gilboa told analysts that “we believe can open 900-plus stores in the U.S., a significant opportunity for further penetration of new and existing markets for years to come while still representing a small fraction of the 48,000 optical shops in the U.S.”

Among other benefits, stores act as an accelerator of progressives sales, Gilboa noted.

“As our store footprint has expanded, so have progressives,” he said. “Progressives penetration was up 210 basis points year over year to 22.9% of prescription eyeglass units in Q1”.

Warby Parker posted both top- and bottom-line results for its first quarter that exceeded its guidance. Revenue rose 12.2% to $172.0 million its first quarter, ended March 31. Average revenue per customer increased 8.4% to $270. Active customers increased 2.5%, to 2.29 million.

The company reported a new loss of $10.812 million, down from a loss of $34.133 million in the year-ago period. Adjusted EBITDA( increased $17.0 million to $17.7 million and adjusted EBITDA margin( improved 9.8 points from 0.5% to 10.3%.

“Our first quarter performance represents a solid start to 2023,” said Gilboa. “We achieved double-digit revenue growth, ahead of expectations and well above the current industry forecasted growth rate. We are particularly pleased to be driving strong market share gains while expanding adjusted EBITDA margin.”

For the full year, Warby Parker is expecting revenue of $645 to $660 million, representing growth of 8% to 10% versus full year 2022.

“While we continue to be cautious about near-term trends given the uncertain macroeconomic outlook, we remain optimistic about Warby Parker’s future,” added co-founder and Co-CEO Neil Blumenthal. “We are still in the early stages of building our store footprint and developing our holistic vision offering and see a long runway for sustained, profitable growth in the years ahead.”

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds