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Digitally Native Brand Connects in Real Life

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We no longer shop for a product, we shop for a relationship with a brand. A digitally borne brand shares its perspective on how brick and mortar helps it flourish in retail.

Warm suspended globe lighting, cozy leather chairs, surrounded by shelves and shelves of colorful books and glasses to pair; walking into Atherton’s Warby Parker is reminiscent of browsing through your favorite library, except now seeking the perfect frames. As the location for Warby Parker’s first North Carolina brick-and-mortar store, Atherton was carefully chosen as a home to their fashionable specs. As a host to both local and national shops and restaurants, including Anthropologie, Not Just Coffee, Luna’s Living Kitchen and a fresh market next door, the Atherton community welcomed Warby Parker knowing in full confidence they would be in great company.

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Establishing itself as a revolutionary and socially conscious brand, Warby Parker altered the way consumers see, shop and experience eyewear. Rebelling against the sole dominating eyewear manufacturer, Warby Parker was born to be different. Launching as a digital brand, the focus was to develop a nationwide customer base in a capital-efficient way: They engaged customers online with affordable, yet quality prescription glasses in-house, all with a promise for every pair of glasses sold, a pair was distributed to someone in need.

With a successful formula that resonated with so many, Warby Parker’s focus on customer experience shifted their vision to expand into the world of the physical store.

At a time when many businesses are hesitant to invest in brick and mortar, Warby Parker saw this as an opportunity to further connect with their customers in more meaningful ways, breaking ground in a new market in North Carolina. By creating spaces to build in-person connections, gather real-time customer feedback and offer the opportunity to touch and feel their glasses, Warby Parker differentiated themselves from mediocre retail and presented a unique offline experience at Atherton.

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Breaking away from the basic black and white of shopping, Warby Parker opened its doors to the Charlotte community in more ways than one; offering convenience, ease and human connection. Stepping away from the computer and entering the red brick shop in Atherton Mill, shoppers are welcomed with a vibrant mural by Cyprus-based illustrator Anna Kövecses. A collection of beautiful Charlotte-exclusive limited edition frames were released to launch the grand opening. The playful space matches the joyful spirit of Warby Parker and promises unexpected moments of discovery – all in real life.

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