Warby Parker does it again. More specifically, its founder Jeff Raider, does it. Yesterday, he opened The Corner Shop, described as the "modern neighborhood barber," over at NYC's MacDougal street. The shop offers haircutting and shaving services along with plethora of locally sourced products like pajamas, toolboxes, notebookes and other things needed by a modern man who likes to be well-groomed.
The Corner Shop is a real-world embodiment of an e-commerce site named Harry's, where one can buy everything mentioned above. The Shop aims to offer the full grooming experience that Harry's hopes to become synonymous with. To get there, it adheres to the same principles of social responsibility and locally produced, artisanal products. The Corner Shop is a destination where one can not only buy products, but learn from master craftsmen how to use them, too.
This model, "build online, then build offline" seems to be working great. But the core of Warby Parker's, and now Harry's, innovation isn't only this model. It is the ability to achieve wide market reach while cutting out the pricey middlemen - be it resellers, wholesellers or expensive mass-market shaving gadgetry - from its value chain. Failing eyesight is a simple need. Shaving is a simple job. Knowing how to do it well shouldn't be expensive, only fun.