eyebobs Rx

Eyebobs is getting into the prescription business, as it looks to become an “edgier version of Warby Parker.”

The eyewear brand, known for its fashion-forward, ready-made reading glasses, is to roll out a new program in October. Chief executive officer Michael Magerman projects that the prescription program will double Eyebobs’ sales over the next two years.

“We’ve been working on it for about a year — it grew organically out of demand that already existed from our customer base,” said Magerman, who joined the firm in May 2016.

Magerman says that Eyebobs readers’ $79 price point — matched with its quality and style — lent themselves to expansion into prescription.

“When I got to the company about 15 months ago, we started interviewing consumers and our own customers and it turned out that 30 percent of consumers were buying our frames and bringing them to optical retailers to have their prescription put in. Consumers found that Eyebobs’ styles, colors and quality are similar to that of a $200 to $500 acetate style from other brands,” he said.

Eyebobs prescription glasses, launching on October 1, will be priced at $199 for single-vision lenses and $299 for progressive prescriptions. The cost will include both lenses and frames.

“We also found in our research that people want simplified pricing — the cost of frames and lenses tends to lend itself to a lack of transparency,” said Magerman.

This fall, Eyebobs will open a retail laboratory at the ground floor of its corporate headquarters in Minneapolis. The space will serve as a litmus test for the brand’s retail concept — which it plans to replicate in up to 15 cities over the next 24 to 36 months.