Warby Parker, Dave Gilboa, Neil Blumenthal discussed on CBS Weekend News Roundup
It's Jill on money. And this is the program that takes the mystery out of your financial life, but also tries to give you some unconventional or entertaining interviews to chew on, get you thinking. In this interview that we're doing this hour. We are broadcasting in a conversation that I had with two of the founders of Warby Parker. Co CEOs Dave Gilboa and Neil Blumenthal. First couple of segments were kind of finding out what their story Woz and the story of the company, and now we're going to shift a little bit into the where they are now with Warby Parker. What's happening, how they've used physical stores to expand? That was interesting when you see a company that starts as an online mostly and then goes and opens a physical store, kind of like a Just a little bit of an apple model like the retail store experience. It is cool. I encourage you to check out a Warby Parker store If there's one near you anyway, here is more of our interview with Dave Gilboa and Neil Blumenthal. So how many physical outlets do you have A 98 100? Something like that. Ah, 115 115. Do you have like a site? Location person Who does all that work for You guys, We have Ah real estate team. We also often leverage or data science team, the beauty of being any commerce companies that we know where our customers are. So what was interesting is right. We start selling out of our apartment. Then when we moved into a proper office after graduation, we moved back to New York. We deliberately moved into an office that was in Union Square, so a place with good access with with public transportation and was a loft space with Southern facing windows with good light. We allocated about a third of the office to be Showroom. A store on We just started selling lots of glasses on De Eventually, we moved our office to SoHo. We were on track to do over $3 million of sales out of our office. So we figured if we're doing this in an office, and so what if we just open up a store nearby will probably do at least that And then we also built a mobile store. We bought an old yellow school bus. We ripped out all the benching the chairs we put in oak shelving, and we went To about 15 cities and in each city. We were about three locations s O. We knew which intersections performed well, so we had basically a road map of where to open up stores. We married that with some of our customer data, and we now have sort of a model where we can punch in any address in the U. S and get a sales range with the confidence. Interval day. You guys are co CEOs, but you obviously have different areas of responsibility. So how does it break down between the two of you really split up company? I think each of us have seven or eight. Direct reports operates more functionally as a Venn diagram, where example, says Gold retail stores reported to Neil. But I'm on a real estate committee. And so it's still involved in kind of looking at every new story that we're opening and Technology reports into me. But if we're making any big tech decision you know was providing as much input as I am into those decisions, and so it allows us to divide and conquer on kind of day to day things, But then I think we get the benefit of having kind of two brains instead of one for major decisions across the business. You come of age in a different time where it seems to me that more of your cohorts are interested in community as well as your people who work for you. And also making sure the company does well, I wonder from your perspective. I know you started with you came from the nonprofit world you You started with. This premise about giving away a pair of glasses. So can you talk a little bit about the journey of have that really was sort of one of your leading messaging points. Now you still do it, but it doesn't. It doesn't seem to be front and center. Yes. So when we were starting the business we often would discuss. Hey, what's gonna keep us excited Tonto, go to work every single morning and not roll over and hit the snooze button. Then it was about having big positive impact, And we thought, well, let's one way to do that. Well, there's hundreds of millions of people on the planet that don't have glasses. And how are we failing as a species when a product and technology that's been around 800 years is not widely available to everybody. So even though we thought it was an inherent good to bring down the price of glasses from $500 to $95, right, we want to serve those hundreds of millions of people that couldn't afford $95. So we first thought, Well, why don't we commit percent of revenue or profits? We thought hey, at the end of the day that is good and positive, but the outcome that we're looking for his glasses on people's faces. So that way they can, you know, fulfill their potential at work at school, and we also thought If for some reason, we weren't running the company, like a percent of revenue, percent of profits could maybe be manipulated a little bit. So we want to make a bold commitment that was also tied to the brand to give away a pair for every pair that we sold. We've now distributed over five million pairs of glasses to people around the world and in in the United States, That's sort of what we probably talked most about from Social Mission perspective, but we try and.