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                                          Martine Breton                           
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                                                                                                   Martine Breton
                                hen Warby Parker launched in 2010, it got a lot of attention
                                                                                                  SENIOR EDITOR
                                for its plan to sell direct to consumers exclusively through      JoAnne Sommers
                                                                                                  Tel. 250 469-4350
                                its e-commerce platform. Retail experts said that business
                                model was a sign of the pending demise of brick-and-mortar.
                W So it’s interesting to discover that the company now has                        FEATURES WRITER
                                                                                                    Evra Taylor
                                                                                                  Tel. 416 458-4409
               more than 200 retail stores in the U.S. and Canada and plans to add hundreds
               more over the next few years.
                                                                                                 ASSOCIATE EDITOR
               Evra Taylor’s feature story in this issue talks about the surge in online sales of    Shirley Ha, B. Sc (Hons), O.D.
               eyeglasses in recent years, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. That   SPECIAL ADVISOR, CONTACT LENSES
               well-documented growth is due in part to the development of new tools, such as   Joshua Josephson, B. Sc, OD, FAAO, FACLP
               virtual try-on technology, as well as the convenience of shopping from home. At   MEDIA COORDINATOR / COPY EDITOR /
                                                                                                   Omar Chraïbi
               the same time, the online-only model has its limitations. One of these is the lack of
               in-store engagement with customers.
                                                                                                 WEB COORDINATOR
                                                                                                   Marc Vaskelis
               Warby Parker co-founder and Co-CEO  Neil Blumenthal  says customer surveys
               showed the biggest barriers to purchasing from Warby Parker included not having a
               store nearby, not being able to get an eye exam, and not being viewed as a place that   SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION
               serves all their vision care needs.                                                GRAPHIC DESIGN
                                                                                                   Marco Gagnon
               The company’s solution was not to choose between online e-commerce and in-store
               retailing; instead, they integrated the two, becoming an omnichannel retailer. Warby   ADVERTISING
               Parker said its e-commerce business accounted for 60 per cent of net revenue in     Martine Breton
               2020. Stores made up the remaining 40 per cent.                       
                                                                                                   1 888 462-2112
                                                                                                  Tel.: 450 629-6005
               Omnichannel retailing offers the best of both worlds, allowing customers to decide   Fax: 514 360-6523
               when, where and how they will interact with a retail brand. They can get an eye exam   CIRCULATION / CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING
                                                                                                   Omar Chraïbi
               in one store, find the model they like and purchase them in the store; alternately, they
               can buy them online, have them delivered or pick them up from another store. Once    PRINTING
               their prescription is on record, customers can buy online and pick up their eyewear   Miromedia
               at the nearest store. Or, if they buy online but decide the glasses aren’t what they   Published six times a year
               wanted, they can return them to a store.                                             Legal deposit
                                                                                                National Library of Canada
               With an omnichannel infrastructure in place, stores can focus more on providing   ISSN 1925-8801 (Print)  |  ISSN 1925-881X (Online)
               good customer service across all channels, enabling them to further boost their     Canadian Publication Mail Product
               competitive advantage.                                                            Convention NO 40021196
                                                                                                 Postage Paid in Quebec
               There’s more to pique your interest in this issue, including Shirley Ha’s look at smart   Any reproduction, in whole or in part, of the herein
               contact lenses for glaucoma, Evra’s profile of the Opticians Association of Canada   publication, is strictly forbidden, without the written
               and her story about Arianne Jonkergouw, the “accidental optical designer” behind   authorization of the publisher.
               Dutz Eyewear. Enjoy!                                           n                    Printed in Canada
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