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Warby Parker’s Co-Founder: Why WP Is Opening In-House Labs & the Company’s Long-Term Goals

Warby Parker’s Las Vegas in-house optical lab. In-house labs will enable the company to better serve customers, says company co-founder and co-CEO Dave Gilboa.

By Margery Weinstein
Editor-in-Chief
Review of Optometric Business

Jan. 12, 2022

Warby Parker announced last fall that it was expanding its in-house lab capabilities, including a recently opened lab in Las Vegas. Co-Founder and Co-CEO Dave Gilboa shared with Review of Optometric Business why the company decided to do this, and what it means to its customers and long-term growth.

“We opened our first in-house optical lab in Sloatsburg, N.Y., in 2016 and expanded our production floor 1.5 years later. The goal of that expansion, and the decision to open a West Coast lab in Las Vegas, is ultimately to better serve our customers,” says Gilboa. “Our Las Vegas Lab specifically will allow us to more effectively serve our West Coast customers, resulting in a higher Net Promoter Score and faster turnaround time. In addition to our two in-house optical labs, we are also excited to continue working with our network of third-party labs.”

Indeed, the benefit to customers was the foremost reason the company decided to expand its in-house labs, according to Gilboa. The company has a continued focus on customer experience (CX), he points out: “A continued priority for us is exceptional customer service, and we’re excited that a portion of our Las Vegas facility will be dedicated to our CX team. Most of our CX team members are located in Nashville and New York; opening a third CX office will allow us to better serve customers interacting with us digitally across multiple time zones. Our Las Vegas lab will also enable us to shorten our turnaround time and get orders to customers faster.”

Along with CX, Gilboa says the company will continue to prioritize providing high-quality eyecare and products at an affordable price: “Our goal is to make affordable vision care more convenient and fun. Expanding our in-house lab network with this new location ladders back to that goal—whether that be getting orders to customers faster or increasing our CX support hours across time zones.”

In-house labs also make it easier for Warby Parker to meet its long-term goals. “Opening this second in-house optical lab will allow us to further vertically integrate as we continue to grow,” says Gilboa. “The addition of our West Coast optical lab sets the stage for us to continue scaling our operations and retail footprint, which will help us track toward one of our ultimate goals, to prove that for-profit businesses can grow while also doing good in the world. The more we scale, the more impact we can have through our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program.”

Margery Weinstein is editor-in-chief of Review of Optometric Business. You can contact her at: mweinstein@jobson.com

 

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