Shop fitover glasses

Warby Parker to open eyeglass, contact and eye exam store in Sarasota County


First local location for New York-based eyewear retailer

Warby Parker, the New York-based eyewear retailer known for its sleek styles and wide selection of online frame deals, is opening a location at the University Town Center mall on Saturday.

The 1,600 square foot store, located on the mall’s upper level between the Great Court and Saks Fifth Avenue, will be the company’s first retail in Sarasota. In addition to opening weekend, Warby Parker will be giving away its “keys, wallet, sunglasses” graphic pouch to every paying customer while supplies last.

The Downtown University Mall is located on Interstate 75 and University Parkway, near the Sarasota and Manatee county line.

“We already feel at home in sunny Sarasota, in the coastal breeze, and we look forward to getting to know our neighbors in this charming city,” the company wrote in a press release. “With our first store in the area, we’re bringing more affordable eye care options to the city than ever before (think: eyeglasses, contact lenses, and eye exams).”

Inside the store, customers will find Warby Parker’s full line of optical and sunglass offerings in a range of lens types from blue light filtering to progressive and light-sensitive frames. The company’s latest collections, Sunburst and Eshi Edition, will be available, as will its Scout by Warby Parker daily contact lenses and Clean My Lenses kit with anti-fog spray.

The new store is designed around the library theme. It will have open shelving, marble tables, and herringbone wood floors to evoke a modern, comfortable aesthetic. And the company has health and safety protocols in place, including social distancing, improved sanitation, and contactless shopping features like contactless metering and payment.

COVID-19 has posed challenges for malls, which were already struggling before the pandemic hit. But the mall has seen new stores open since the pandemic began, including Urban Outfitters.

Warby Parker has 12 locations in Florida, including two in Tampa.

Support local journalism with a digital subscription to the Herald Tribune.