GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Eyewear retailer Warby Parker is opening a store in Grand Rapids Saturday.
The Breton Village location near the intersection of Breton Road and Burton Street is a first for West Michigan. There are four locations on the east side of the state, and Chief Customer Experience and Retail Officer Sandy Gilsenan said those stores see some customers who have traveled from the Grand Rapids area.
“I remember coming out here in 2019 and hearing from our teams. I was like, ‘Hey, where else in Michigan do we think we need a store?'” she said. “Grand Rapids continuously came up as, ‘Our customer comes to us from as far as Grand Rapids and beyond.'”
Gilsenan described the company as a “holistic vision care company.” She said it offers design-quality glasses, contacts, eye exams and vision tests.
“We were founded with the mission to really inspire and impact the world with vision, purpose and style,” she said.
Warby Parker first started in 2010 as an online store. It has since opened brick-and-mortar stores and now has more than 215 locations.
“I use that all the time with my friends because I got lots of compliments on my glasses,” Gilsenan said. “… I think they’re blown away with how realistic it looks.”
Gilsenan said many customers first start online before switching to a physical store, where you can get a physical vision test or eye exam — a doctor will be starting at the Breton Village location in a few weeks — or get styling advice from employees.
“We take time to train our teams to really understand how to style a customer based on their face shape, based on their prescriptions,” she said. “We really take the time to ensure our teams feel comfortable doing that, so we provide personalized styling selection.”
She explained the store’s employees are a mix of people who have worked in other stores and people from the area.
“We really want to have our team members be a part of the community so that they understand how the customer shops, who the customer is,” she said.
The Breton Village shop features art from Detroit muralist Jesse Kassel.
The store will celebrate its grand opening Saturday by giving away tote bags with the purchase of glasses.
Gilsenan said customers are excited about the store’s opening.
“Our team members are all obviously from the Michigan area. They’ve shared with their customers that we are moving to Grand Rapids, and we’ve gotten a lot of excitement from our local customers that shop with us at other locations,” she said.