Eyewear Brand Warby Parker Adding More Stores to its Canadian Roster [Interview]


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NYC-based eyewear brand Warby Parker continues to expand its footprint in the Canadian market with the recent opening of a new location at the CF Toronto Eaton Centre in the downtown and more openings coming. 

Sandy Gilsenan, Warby Parker Senior Vice President of Retail, said the brand has opened over 40 new stores in the past year, “hitting an exciting 200th store milestone.”

Sandy Gilsenan

“Two of those stores are located in Ontario – our Square One and Eaton Centre locations, which opened last September and November,” she said.

“We opened our first store on Queen Street West back in 2016 and now have five locations throughout Canada. When we opened, we received warm welcomes and excitement from the Toronto community. We’re thrilled to have expanded our stores across Canada, throughout Ontario and British Columbia. 

“In each of our locations, the store’s design and space have been tailored to reflect its surroundings and community. We’ve worked with local artists such as Micah Lexier, Maggie Groat, Mark Laliberte, and Adrian Forrow to create unique decorative items and murals throughout each store.”

Warby Parker at CF Toronto Eaton Centre including 22 illustrations by Toronto-based artist Rachel Joanis (Image: Warby Parker)
Warby Parker at Square One with Toronto-based artist Holly Stapleton’s solvable crossword puzzle within the store’s custom mural. (Image: Warby Parker)

Currently, Warby Parker has 205 stores across the U.S. and Canada and plan to open 40 stores total this year. The locations in Canada include Queen Street West (Toronto), Yorkdale (Toronto), Eaton Centre (Toronto), Square One (Mississauga), and West 4th Ave. (Vancouver). 

She said the goal is always to meet its customers where they are and its growing retail footprint is a key part of how the brand does this. 

“We aim to open 40 new stores this year. With this, we’re excited to continue expanding our reach and making it even more convenient for our customers to access affordable, holistic vision care,” said Gilsenan. 

“It’s been so exciting to grow our retail footprint in Canada over the years. Our drive to provide accessible vision care has led to scaling our eye exam availability (offered in two current Canadian locations), piloting new technologies to streamline the exam process, and continuing to offer high-quality frames at an affordable rate. 

“As with everything we do, we want to make sure our customers have the best experience possible for all of their vision care needs, and we’re looking forward to continuing to expand our presence and connect with even more of our Canadian customers.” 

Warby Parker West 4th Ave – original mural by Sebastian Curi (Image: Warby Parker)

She said Warby Parker was founded with a mission – to inspire and impact the world with vision, purpose, and style. 

“Since the day we launched in 2010, we’ve pioneered ideas, designed products, and developed technologies that help people see. We offer everything you need at a price that leaves you with money in your pocket, from designer-quality glasses and contacts to eye exams and vision tests, and you can meet us online, at our stores, or even in your home,” she said.

“Ultimately, we believe in vision for all, which is why for every pair of glasses or sunglasses we sell, a pair of glasses is distributed to someone in need through our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program. Over 10 million pairs have been distributed so far—and we’re only just getting started.  

“We opened our first store in 2013 in Soho, a few blocks from our headquarters in New York City. Since then, we’ve opened more than 200 stores across the U.S. and Canada. We plan to continue expanding our retail presence to make holistic vision care more accessible and convenient for all.”

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.


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