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Pair Eyewear of ‘Shark Tank’ Fame Lands in Hy-Vee Supermarkets

Hy-Vee plans to open more than a dozen in-store Pair kiosks over the next year.

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Pair Eyewear Shark Tank appearance
Pair Eyewear co-founders Nathan Kondamuri and Sophia Edelstein address the Sharks of “Shark Tank.”

WEST DES MOINES, IA — Pair Eyewear, a direct-to-consumer brand of customizable eyewear that appeared on “Shark Tank,” will bring its products to select Hy-Vee locations across the supermarket chain’s eight-state region.

The first kiosk will be located inside the new Hy-Vee in Grimes, IA. Hy-Vee plans to open more than a dozen in-store Pair kiosks over the next year.

The locations “will offer a hybrid shopping experience for Hy-Vee customers, allowing them to try eyewear frames on in stores and place prescription and non-prescription orders online through the in-store kiosk,” according to a Hy-Vee press release. Products will be shipped directly to the customer’s home within five to seven business days through standard free shipping. Hy-Vee is “the first U.S. retailer to offer customers the ability to try on and shop Pair Eyewear products in stores,” the release notes.

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Pair offers eyewear for adults and children, including optical glasses, sunglasses and blue light glasses in prescription and non-prescription form. The release explains: “In addition to the brand’s ‘base frame,’ customers can also choose from a wide variety of ‘top frames,’ that attach to the base magnetically, allowing wearers to change their style in a snap.”

Pair offers more than 1,000 customizable top frame designs, including collaborations with Harry Potter, Marvel, the NHL and MLB. Base frames are available starting at $60 including prescription lenses, and top frames start at $25 each.

The brand landed a deal during its appearance on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” which aired on March 6, 2020. The deal called for $400,000 for 10 percent of the company, in addition to a royalty structure of $1.50 on each pair of glasses until the Sharks recouped their investment.

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“The introduction of Pair Eyewear to our Hy-Vee customers brings variety and value to their shopping experience through this hybrid model,” says Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman, CEO and president. “By combining our in-store format with Pair’s e-commerce platform, we are able to build a unique and convenient experience for our customers.”

Pair Co-CEO and co-founder Sophia Edelstein says: “We are incredibly excited to partner with Hy-Vee in launching Pair Eyewear’s first physical retail outpost as we continue to reimagine the way people shop for glasses. We look forward to introducing our innovative, customizable products to Hy-Vee customers in a fun and interactive setting, encouraging Hy-Vee customers to personalize and wear their Pair Eyewear as an empowering form of self-expression.”

Hy-Vee customers will be able to try on Pair’s most popular base frames in-person and browse the brand’s collection of top frames through the kiosk’s digital component, including some of the brand’s limited-edition and collaboration collections. For every pair of glasses purchased, Pair donates a percentage of sales to the Eyelliance, which works to provide vision care to school-aged children around the world.

Hy-Vee is an employee-owned corporation operating more than 280 retail stores across the Midwest with sales of $11 billion annually.

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