For the first time, Warby Parker is delving into the kids eyewear market, but there’s a catch — you can only buy them in New York City.
This is part of the company’s pilot program that begins Jan. 30 in all eight of the company’s New York City locations. But why limit the offerings to just New York? “To ensure we’re offering the best possible products and experiences to customers, we often pilot new offerings to generate learnings before a broader launch,” Dave Gilboa, co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker explains to Yahoo Lifestyle. “Given that we’ve never offered kids glasses before, we’re starting in New York to understand how to best serve a new, younger customer base. We have eight locations in New York, the most in any city where we’ve opened stores, so our sample size is significant.”
Gilboa continues: “This pilot gives us opportunities to receive and implement feedback in real time, right in our own backyard. Our customers have asked for kids frames for years, but we did not want to rush, and this pilot is the first step to helping address this demand.”
But it was a personal decision as well. “As a dad and lifelong New Yorker, it thrills me to no end to roll out our kids’ offerings in both my and Warby Parker’s hometown. Every step of the way (especially the photo shoot) has been as over-the-top fun as you’d think,” Neil Blumenthal, co-CEO and co-founder of Warby Parker, shared in a press release.
For those lucky enough to be in the New York or traveling there soon, the frames will be available in six favorite styles (Wilkie, Lyle, Louise, Percey, Chamberlain, and Daisy) and in playful, colorful shades like Peony, Blue Crystal, and more.
The kids collection is available in two sizes: Jr. (for kids age 8 and older) and Jr. Jr. (for kids ages 4-7).
But apart from size, there aren’t many differences between the frames for adults and the ones for kids — other than the use of spring hinges for added flexibility and comfort for your little ones. They all still provide 100 percent UV protection, are scratch-resistant, and have an antireflective coating.
The frames start at the same Warby Parker price of $95 (which includes prescription lenses).
Plus, in keeping with the brand’s aim to promote social responsibility, each kids frame purchase will benefit Warby Parker’s Pupils Project program, which helps provide free vision screenings, eye exams, and glasses to children in need across New York City schools.
Although Gilboa cannot confirm that the kids collection will be available to a wider market anytime soon, he definitely hopes so. But first and foremost, the company says it’s committed to “ensuring the pilot is a big success and then applying our learnings to a larger rollout.”
We have our fingers crossed.
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