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Online retailer Warby Parker plans to open at King of Prussia mall this weekend

September 27, 2019

Source, Philadelphia Inquirer, Ellie Silverman

Warby Parker is opening a store at the King of Prussia mall this Saturday, the online eyeglass company’s second physical store in the region where it was founded almost 10 years ago.

Warby Parker, a private company based in New York City, was founded by Wharton graduates and began as an online-only retailer. It has now expanded to opening stores and the company lists more than 100 U.S. stores and three in Canada on its website.

Businesses that began as digital-only are increasingly opening physical locations, showing how despite the increase in online shopping, people still value walking into a store and handling the merchandise. Opening a store also increases online traffic, the International Council of Shopping Centers found.

Warby Parker already has a store on Walnut Street, which opened in 2017 at the former space of Le Bec-Fin restaurant. A few steps away is men’s apparel retailer Bonobos, which also began as an online-only company before opening physical stores.

The King of Prussia mall already has several stores that are digitally native, meaning they began online like Warby Parker, including Fabletics, Untuckit, and Casper. The mall recently also had pop-ups from online-only retailers Wayfair and Dormify.

“We’re at the forefront of physical retail, so we see demands from just about everybody, and it’s really exciting to be working with all of these new concepts,” Zachary Beloff, national director of business development for Simon Property Group, the owner of King of Prussia, one of the largest malls in the U.S., told The Inquirer in August. “It’s a great way to excite the customer and give them what they want.”

The Warby Parker store will be on the upper level of the Plaza across from Lord & Taylor, and will be open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On Saturday’s opening day, customers will be able to eat mini treats from Federal Donuts and there will also be free T-shirts, custom-designed by artist Kevin Lyons in both the King of Prussia mall and Walnut Street locations for the weekend, while supplies last, the company said.

The new store will have the company’s full selection of glasses and kids’ frames, eye exams, and a prescription check. Prescription eyewear prices start at $95.

For every pair of glasses purchased, Warby Parker advertises that “a pair of glasses is distributed to someone in need.” The company said more than five million pairs have been distributed through this “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” program.

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