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A Conversation with Warby Parker: Dee Carroll Takes A Peek Behind the Curtain with Dr. Pratil Lal, Director of Eyecare and Vision Services

The two discuss the company’s continued expansion, recent public offering and what they would say to unhappy independent ECPs.

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IN THE EPISODE of INVISION with Dee Carroll for 2021, Dee speaks with Dr. Pratil Lal, Director of Eyecare and Vision Services at Warby Parker to learn more about the company and its priorities… from his lips to your ears…

After an introduction of Dr. Lal and his background, the two discuss why Warby made the initial move from an e-commerce player to a brick-and-mortar retailer and ultimately ended up adding — and expanding — visioncare services (4:30). He even shares an anecdote about co-founder and CEO Neil Blumenthal inviting customers over to his home and showing them frames on his dining room table in the early days of the company.

At 8:00, Dee jumps right in and asks Dr. Pratil what he would say to the unhappy independent ECPs that Warby Parker locations open up near. His answer is both frustratingly diplomatic and sincere. At (10:00) they discuss what makes working at the company attractive … hiring managers take note if you’d like to remain competitive.

Social purpose has always been at the core of the business and the two spend several minutes discussing how that has evolved through the years (13:20), with Black Eyecare Perspective and NECO both getting a name drop.

At 18:00, they do deep into the company’s — and it’s vision care services — expansion into new markets … and channels with their telehealth services and Virtual Vision Test app. Given the company’s footprint both online and in-store, Dee asks Dr. Pratil to share anything they’ve learned about customer behavior (21:00) and the company’s planned evolution into a more “holistic” vision care company. Then Dee asks about the Virtual Vision Test; what it does, who it’s for and who it’s not for (23:00) and how that app, paired with their telehealth offerings, will be affected by their continued physical expansion into markets in which they currently aren’t present (27:00).

At 28:30, Dr. Lal discussed the company’s recent public listing and how it has affected the company and the company’s future. Winding down, Dee asks Dr. Lal to share what he thinks the eyecare industry’s misconceptions about the company are (30:15) and what he thinks Warby Parker’s one-word outlook for 2022 would be…

Having built a career in service journalism, Dee has been covering the eyecare industry for over a decade. As editor-in-chief of INVISION Magazine, she is passionate about telling independent ECPs stories and can be reached directly at [email protected]

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