Warby Parker opens Sloatsburg eyewear factory

By John Golden

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Warby Parker, the eyewear retailer and manufacturer, today officially opened its 34,000-square-foot optical lab in Sloatsburg, the first such facility the Manhattan-based company has fully owned.

The Rockland County factory, equipped for assembling glasses and finishing prescription lenses, will create up to 128 jobs over the next five years in exchange for the company’s receipt of $1.32 million in state tax credits through the state’s Excelsior Jobs Program. The company last summer said it will open the factory with about 15 employees.

Spring 2017 styles.

Warby Parker officials said the company will retain more than 250 jobs at its New York City headquarters and an additional 150 jobs at its five retail locations in the city.

“Opening our first optical lab represents a significant milestone for both our customers and our team,” David Gilboa, Warby Parker co-founder and co-CEO, said in a press release. “Warby Parker has always operated as a sustainable, vertically integrated business. This is the next step in taking more control over our supply chain and will enable us to serve our customers in a faster, more personalized way.”

Warby Parker sells designer prescription eyewear and sunglasses online and in nearly 50 retail outlets nationwide.

For the approximately $15 million construction project in Sloatsburg, said Neil Blumenthal, Warby Parker co-founder and co-CEO, “We designed the interior to look and feel like any other Warby Parker space, while maintaining the functional elements of a traditional optical lab with its advanced machinery and state of the art conveyor system. We applied the same principles we do in our offices and our stores. While it’s our first foray into manufacturing, our use of design to portray the brand and to make our team members as engaged and productive as possible remains consistent. We’re really happy with how our first industrial space turned out.”

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About the author

John Golden
As managing editor of the Business Journals, John Golden directs news coverage of Westchester and Fairfield counties and the Hudson Valley region. He was an award-winning upstate columnist and feature writer before joining the Business Journal in 2007. He is the author of “Northern Drift: Sketches on the New York Frontier,” a collection of his regional journalism.

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