Warby Parker Opening November 26 in Detroit

November 16, 2016

New York City-based eyewear company Warby Parker will open a store in downtown Detroit as the holiday shopping season starts after Thanksgiving

The hipster brand will open a small store inside the original site of the Vernor’s Pharmacy at 1449 Woodward Ave. at 11 a.m. Nov. 26, right on the continually growing shopping drag downtown.

“We’re excited to open up shop in a great American city with so much history,” said Neil Blimenthal, Warby Parker co-CEO and co-founder, in a news release. “The youthful creative energy and innovation in Detroit is truly special.”

The brand’s eyeglasses and sunglasses range in price from $95 to around $150 with prescriptions.

Warby Parker says on its website that by designing glasses in-house, “We’re able to provide higher-quality, better-looking prescription eyewear at a fraction of the going price.”

Styles with names like the “Oliver,” “Otis” and “Lionel” range from round-wire frames to bulky, square throwbacks in an array of colors.

At the grand opening, the company will debut one of its aviator optical frames as blue-mirrored lens sunglasses exclusively available in Detroit.

For every pair of glasses the company sells, it works with nonprofits to donate a pair to someone in need.

Warby Parker has a heavy online presence, and will ship shoppers several frames to try on before making a purchase.

The Detroit location will have an optometrist available to provide eye exams by appoitnment and fit and adjust frames in-house, according to a news release.

To celebrate the grand opening, Warby Parker will be serving Vernors on tap in custom cups customers can take home. The store is opening about three months after plans were announced in August.

The $419,000 renovations on the store include grey and white tiled flooring, a 16-foot domed ceiling, brass detailing and walnut shelving containing “a roster of books from some of our favorite independent publishers.”

The company has planned to open a store in the city since visiting in 2013, a spokeswoman said.

Warby Parker’s new store is next next to the recently opened “athleisure” store, Kit and Ace and across the street from Détroit is the New Black, both in Bedrock Detroit spaces. Bedrock is the real-estate arm of Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert.

“We’re excited to add Warby Parker to our growing retail portfolio in downtown Detroit,” said Dan Mullen, Bedrock executive vice president, in August. “This brand entering the Detroit market is a significant sign of Woodward Avenue’s continued momentum as a major shopping destination.”

The Detroit store will be one of nearly 40 brick-and-mortar locations in the U.S., including several in New York and Southern California.

Warby Parker was founded in 2010. The company employs 800 people in the U.S. and Canada.

The Detroit location will be open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.